Solitude frequently carries negative connotations of sadness and loneliness due to a lack of companions. Society inherently tends to look down on the guy that’s reading a book by himself in the park, dining alone at the bar, or hiking solo through a park. It’s almost as if a red flag goes off in people’s minds when they realize someone is out on their own. I want to debunk that perception, because when perfected, solitude can be one of the more powerful methods for achieving deep introspection, self-love, and exponential personal growth.
Society is overwhelming. Think about a typical walk down a busy street in Manhattan. Within a span of three minutes, you’re probably exposed to hundreds of people, dozens of advertising messages, an inundation of traffic noises, and at least three or four smells whose source you probably don’t want to know.
How are we expected to ever focus on ourselves in a world that is ripe with distractions? Our attention is constantly being drawn externally. Think about your smartphone usage. How many times in a given day do you find yourself bored and looking for something to do only to immediately reach for your phone to flip through Instagram or Facebook. It’s almost as if, as a society, we’re being wired for our minds to never have a moment’s rest when we can think deeply and purely. One must escape from the chaos of the modern world to truly gain perspective on life.
There’s a certain sense of self-analysis and introspection that come in a period of solitude. It’s a very powerful mindset to attain and can be different for everyone. It could be a brisk walk through the woods, sitting on the park bench, lounging in your study with no distractions, or practicing yoga. For me, it starts with a cross country flight nestled in the aisle seat listening to my favorite playlist, traveling solo in a new country, meditating in my backyard, paddle boarding in Miami’s intracoastal canals or driving down federal highways to the Florida Keys, overlooking the many shades of blue in the pristine salt waters.
Think back to when some of your more brilliant or creative moments came to you. Where were you? In the shower? Driving? Traveling? I’ll bet that more often than not, it was a point of at least partial solitude. It’s during these beautiful moments that we can be real with ourselves, delve deep introspectively, and attain perspective that will empower us to make the right decisions and create beautiful things.
This is particularly pertinent when you’re getting over a breakup. The inclination will be to surround yourself with as many people as possible so you don’t feel lonely. This is natural and you should spend a lot of time with close friends and family that have a positive impact on your life. But, you have to make time for yourself as well.
Now’s the time to rediscover yourself. Without properly prescribed solitude, you’re not giving yourself the necessary space to remember who you were before you met her. Odds are that your personality changed and adapted to the relationship. People knew you more as a couple than as an individual. As you gain the proper perspective, you can establish a new platform to unleash your inner awesomeness and reclaim who you are as an individual.
RELATED READING: Why A Breakup Could Be The Best Thing To Ever Happen To You
So, take the time to meditate, book a trip by yourself, get out of town, and just sit in silence. These will all empower you to sort through your thoughts, prioritize what’s next, and do some amazing things in life.