Solitude is time dedicated to oneself. It is restorative, allowing the introvert to recharge and reenergize, to reflect and relax. When we are alone, we are truly ourselves. There is no one for whom we must act or perform. Many people dread being alone because there is nothing and no one to distract us from ourselves. Is there anything sadder than the fact that most people are afraid of who they truly are? Solitude is a great chance to reconnect with ourselves.
On the topic of solitude, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“Solitude is such a blessing! Everyone needs time alone. Often we are fearful of time alone, because there is no one for us to encounter but ourselves. How comforting it is to go to ourselves! How much like returning home to an old friend or lover after having been away too long visiting places that felt foreign and unfamiliar.
Our solitude is one of the pleasures that only we can arrange. It is up to us to see that we regenerate through our time with ourselves. We have the right, and we have the power. If we do not model respect for our own need for solitude, our children will never learn that they deserve their time alone.”
Solitude is such an essential part of my being that I can always tell when I have not been taking enough time for myself. I become quite short with the people around me, and I feel exhausted, angry, resentful—quite the opposite of grateful, I become a bit of a monster, in fact. I guard my alone time vehemently. To me, there is no better way to spend a day than in the stillness of a silent afternoon alone, curled up in the cushions of a couch, with my nose buried deep in a book. My alone time gives me the ability to reflect and restore my energy, so that I can be a better person to those I love and commune with. Far from being selfish, alone time helps us to rebuild energy so that we are able to give more to people. Everyone deserves time for themselves, to focus on what they love and enjoy most.