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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alone at Last~ Seeking Solace in Solitude


'It is not that
I avoid mixing
with the world;
but I do better
playing alone.'


Ryōkan


Anti-Social or Honoring a Need for Solitude?

"It's curious but I'm getting a tad anti-social in my old age," a friend recently wrote. 
"I bumped into an old friend recently while vacationing in her town. Surprised to see me, she immediately castigated me for not getting in touch with her so we could visit. I felt badly about quietly slipping into town without contacting her, but I just felt a need to slow down and stop trying to do so much when I travel."

I totally understand where she's coming from. She--like me--is an outgoing and gregarious fun-loving person who enjoys the company of others. Yet for balance, sometimes we all need to seek solitude and limit our interactions with others to get back to our own center.

"I don't think of it as being anti-social, I wrote her. "I think of it as being more contained and thoughtful for how I want to spend my time in the moment. Sometimes I just need time to sit with my own thoughts and share my own company."

'Writers may be solitary but they also tend to flock together: 
They like being solitary together.'
Neil Gaiman

No Guilt-No Expectation Friendships

One of my best friends and I have a no guilt-no expectations relationship. We do not get mad at each other for failing to call, visit or follow through on what we were going to do together if it gets too cold or whatever.  And we don't get upset if  the other chooses to spend time with other people instead of us.

Although we love each other dearly we leave lots of room for being ourselves with each other--fully understanding each other's need to get together--or not. We never take offense if we don't get together. We are simply appreciative of spending time together when we do show up. 

While we do need to nurture and grow our important relationships we also need to nurture ourselves. Just because we have space open up in our schedule that doesn't mean we need to fill it up. 

Alone at Last

To honor your need for alone time, let go of your expectations for being on-call for others at all time. Turn off your phone, leave emails or text messages unanswered, or take a walk in nature alone. 

Chose to come together with others out of genuine desire to spend time with them rather than guilt over leaving them out. 

'Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.'

Kahlil Gibran


Solitude: A Gift from Nature

The cool water whirls between my toes
Jeans rolled up above my knees
Dirt from the pathway above trickles down the hill
Trees spinning in every direction
Protecting me in my spot
My territory

A bird in the distance echoes a sweet lullaby
I could almost dream to the sound
But I would rather stay here

Indian paintbrush spreads like wildfire among these ditches
It's as if you could pick it and eat it for dinner

Connecting with the universe
Through soil
My spot swallowing me whole
And I would not have it any other way

In the sweetest abyss of solitude
Alone at last
White noise of nature
A streak of sky through the tree tops
The waterfall only big enough for a fairy
I can see the remains of the dust from a previous visitor
Footsteps getting closer
Closer

I duck into my cavern among the sweetest lullaby and edible flowers
Only I know the password
Away from the outside strangers with nothing but bland points of view

Tracy A Gibbons


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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.


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2 comments:

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Well said, Sue, very well said. As an introvert I've always required a lot of time alone. Hey, if I'm alone, I'm in good company, right? But I have a dear friend who is an extravert who is finding she now needs more time alone to recharge than she used to.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Jean you know the ultimate key to enjoying life--knowing you are good company and worthy of spending time by yourself. As an extravert I feel the same.