“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Solitude is a song that only the heart filled with self-love can sing. Self-love, however, is not be confused with narcissism. While narcissism is the ego-love of self-absorption laced with conceit, self-love, according to psychologist Eric Fromm, is “the desire to respect and care for oneself.”
It is also the graceful acceptance of one’s weaknesses as much as one’s strengths, and not the act of glossing over one’s infirmities, as narcissism is prone to do.
Solitude is an ancient lullaby handed down to mankind for generations.
It is the invisible swathe within which we are encased, a thin, silent film that is forever a part of the human experience, at times close to the center of our beings, distant on the periphery of our farthest thoughts. It is always lurking like a faint shadow, always present, in some shape or form in our lives, a gift of the Divine, if you will, and the same one that mankind has deployed a whole world of distractions to escape from.
The lucid fear of being solitary comes from the discomfort that we think may arise if we are left derelict in the wasteland of our barren nothingness. We are not equipped to deal with this potent emptiness. We are, in fact, ashamed of it. So programmed is the mind of the modern man to escape these moments of stillness, that he is lost for vocabulary or tools to engage it into any meaningful dialogue.
Solitude can be a dance, a dialogue between the frightened self and the wholesome self. A myriad of excuses have been culled over the entire age of industrialization to remove man from this very real and uncomfortable stillness within. Societies have been erected around belief systems that have fed into the fire of “more is less,” so that we have these grotesque parades of countless family members and friends that occupy our space, time and attention in wasteful banter. Friends and family have their place; I am not professing misanthropy.
I am an advocate of stillness.
In a world where we always have too much to do, there is something to be said of walking boldly into spaces within the self, where the silence is disturbingly deafening, where our demons dance viciously around the bonfire of past errors. We fill our lives with people, we seek lovers who will “save” us from ourselves, who fill our empty hours so that we don’t have to sit with our wretched soul-vacancies.
The truth is, the soul is never vacant, and others can never really fill our emptiness. And once we’ve traveled the length and breadth of our inner quietude, the once feared demons dissolve into companions that hold us when others can’t.
I am a loner. I wasn’t designed or raised to be one, but I found something that trapped me hook, line and sinker. I am now floating on a cloud, perfectly alone and whole in my journey. I like my journey to be with few travelers; I like my space to be boundless.
I am a loner. And I am at peace with it.
Being alone is sexy and it’s cool. It’s empowering and it’s nobody’s fool. Fill my cup in my solitude, I grow wild and beast-like and enjoy that space… I like silences. I like solitude. I like to dance alone, and create alone… I love making love to myself. I like people too—but always and forever in measured ways.
There’s a deliciousness in being alone that cannot be duplicated. If you have to run from yourself, if you are uncomfortable and cannot face your demons and you run to that place where others will always and forever surround you, your life becomes a pursuit of escapes.
But when you have danced alone and been okay with your demons, you embrace them, you seek them and you start loving your dark companions. Every time you come closer to them, they dissolve and let a burst of light inside of you, like a shot of sunshine down your throat that sets fire to your heart, so it grows wings and begins its ascent.
We all make mistakes. We all have a wasteland of battered moments, unfinished chapters, empty spaces in life that haunt us.
And they do, and so they must and that’s all fine. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Those who wear the suit of perfection are rotted inside. We are not perfect in the sense that your mind dictates. The preconceived notions of a man-made society are hollow, and nothing but the rant of people who have declared themselves as judges over your life.
Why do you buy into this? Trow the cloak of guilt; in God’s universe there is no room for guilt. The universe was not created in guilt, and no creature must carry that. Set yourself free, and set yourself on fire so that you can turn to ash these unfruitful thoughts of yours.
Let yourself breath, sink and be apologetic for the life that was given to you as a gift. Stop lamenting and regretting, and staring at the past so longingly, when all you did was disregard it when it was your present.
Quit the drama, befriend yourself.
The lover that you seek is you, the companion, the mother, the caretaker—it’s all you. Grow some, and embrace your life with all its hues and shadows, its darknesses and shut doors, its empty canvases and torn up pages. Embrace it, love it and understand that it is not supposed to be any other way.
This is all there is. It is nothing but the mad dance of you with yourself. Falling in love with yourself, accepting yourself, engaging and embracing yourself and finding your peace through it. Stop looking outside for all that is within you.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of. A society built on the idea of Original Sin is wrong at a deep and unnatural level. We are not sinners—look at children, do they look like sinners when they are born, or just plain love and innocence? That is the reality of our birth and beginning,
So turn the music off in your mind, and play your heart strings. Relax, get a drink, kick up those heels and do what you do best.
Tania Kazi is a yoga aficionado, a blossoming vegetarian, a wellness enthusiast and a lover of books. She has studied International Relations, worked at a think-tank, and served the corporate monster only to find that healing the human soul is where her passion lies. When she is not reading or writing feverishly, she is getting soaked in central park with her daughter under the sprinklers, taking or teaching a yoga class, immersing in meditation and making green juices!
Editor: Anne Clendening
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