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Mary's Moments Blog Post

Solitude: Cherish It

Since social connections are highly valued, the idea of being content on your own might seem unusual or even daunting. Yet, there's a certain magic in being comfortable with your own thoughts and finding happiness within yourself. While friends and family play significant roles in our lives, nurturing a strong relationship with ourself is essential for genuine happiness and fulfillment.

Think about it - how often do you spend time alone with yourself? Chances are, it's more frequent than you think. From the moment you wake up to the time you go to bed, you're in constant dialogue with yourself, whether through thoughts, reflections, or inner conversations.

This relationship with ourselves affects our emotional well-being and shapes our interactions with the world.

Friends are undeniably important for companionship, and family provides a sense of belonging and support. However, amidst the hustle and bustle, it's crucial to prioritize the most important relationship in your life - the one you have with yourself. After all, you are the one constant presence throughout your entire existence.

Imagine a day spent entirely on your own - no distractions, no obligations.  What would that look like?

For some, it might involve indulging in hobbies, reading a book, or simply just enjoying the solitude. Whatever form it takes, finding joy in the simplicity of being on your own is key.

When you're comfortable in your own skin, you become less reliant on external validation for happiness. Instead of seeking fulfillment through others, you gain satisfaction from within.

This doesn't mean isolating yourself from the world or dismissing the value of relationships. It actually strengthens your connections with others by being real and confident in yourself.

Being around someone who is confident and likes themself, lifts your soul.  The reason for that is simple, they don’t judge or look for flaws, they don’t look for signs of weakness – they have learned to stop all that.  They accept themselves naturally and in turn accept you too, just as you are – even better they see you the way you should be seen.  It’s an uplifting experience which brings good energy. 

After a while, maybe we could be people that like ourselves as well and bring that sunshine to someone else in need.  Imagine……

If you seek flaws, you’ll find flaws

If you seek beauty, you’ll find that too.

The ability to enjoy being on your own is a testament to emotional maturity and self-awareness. It reflects a deeper understanding of your own needs, desires, and boundaries. By cultivating self-awareness, you gain clarity in decision-making, develop resilience in the face of challenges, and create a greater sense of inner peace.

Growing up, I faced the challenge of being comfortable with my own company early on.  Being left alone on weekends as an early teen (though I was quite mature for my age in many ways) stirred up fears and uncertainties within me, making it hard to enjoy being on my own.  I craved closeness with others to fill the void I felt when alone.  Letting my mind wander seemed daunting and it sometimes led to feelings of insecurity.  It has taken years to overcome the discomfort and at times even now in certain circumstances, I still feel the pang of being on my own.

For the most part though, while juggling many responsibilities, it feels like an impossible task to find time for myself.  The demands of caregiving leave little room for personal solitude leaving me yearning for moments of quiet in the chaos. 

Despite the challenges, I’m learning to value time alone when I do have it, recognizing how important it is for my well-being and inner peace.

Our society often glorifies busyness and constant social engagement, the concept of solitude can be misunderstood or even stigmatized. People may associate it with loneliness or even social withdrawal.

Solitude is not isolation; it's a deliberate choice to reconnect with yourself.

The following quote highlights the importance of thinking for ourselves:

“Many people are convinced that as long as they are not overtly forced to do something by an outside power, their decisions are theirs, and that if they want something, it is they who want it.  But this is one of the great illusions we have about ourselves.  A great number of our decisions are not really our own but are suggested to us from the outside; we have succeeded in persuading ourselves that it is we who have made the decision, whereas we have actually conformed with expectations of others, driven by the fear of isolation and by more direct threats to our life, freedom and comfort” – Erich Fromm

One of the most significant advantages of spending time alone is the opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth. When you're alone, free from distractions, you have the space to explore your thoughts, and feelings without inhibition. This journey can lead to profound insights, helping you uncover hidden talents, passions, and aspects of yourself.

Also, it provides a refuge from the noise and demands of everyday life, allowing you to recharge and rejuvenate.  With constant stimuli and information overload, moments of solitude provide a sense of calm.  During these quiet moments you can truly listen to your inner voice and get to know yourself.

A poem by Donna Ashworth:

“Know yourself they say and don’t be led astray

but how can I know who I am when I’m different every day?

Some days I am the smart one with the answers people need and

some days I’m the strong one standing up to take the lead.

On other days I’m sure that if the wind blew me too hard

I would shatter like a glass into a million tiny shards.

And on those days I cower and I hide out from the world

waiting on my inner child to blossom and unfurl.

And each day I’m surprised by the newness that I see

the things I’m finding out, the complexity of me.

So how to know yourself when you’re all things rolled in one?

you simply must decide to love whatever you become.”

Having a healthy relationship with yourself allows more capacity.  You learn to prioritize your own well-being and happiness just as you would for the needs of a friend or family member.  This might involve setting boundaries, saying no when necessary, and honoring your own needs without guilt or hesitation.

Spending time alone helps you become stronger and more independent, so you can handle tough situations in life with courage and dignity.  When you believe in yourself and use your own abilities, you become more self-sufficient.  You learn to believe in yourself and trust your own decisions.

It’s important to note that solitude doesn't mean giving up on social connections or withdrawing from meaningful relationships. The opposite - spending time alone makes your relationships with others even better. It helps you to be more real and caring when you are with people. When you feel good about yourself, you can be more understanding in your relationships.

Learning to be happy by yourself is like a journey to know and appreciate who you are. It's about realizing how valuable you are and really just loving yourself.

While friends and family bring much joy to our lives, the most important and crucial bond is the one we share with ourselves.  By taking care of this relationship, we set the groundwork for long-lasting happiness and satisfaction.

May you have the courage to break patterns in your life that no longer serve you and give yourself permission to pause and reflect.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean “me first”,

It means “me too”.

The most important connection in this life is the one you hold with yourself – cherish it!


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