In Praise of Solitude

January 2, 2018

Food for thought today comes from an article posted that I recently read regarding the importance of being alone. The difference between being alone vs being lonely. Why society sets up “alone” as a thing to be avoided at all costs and the false, maddening logic behind it.

Sara Maitland’s School of Life book: “How to Be Alone” (I’m getting her other book as my January “read”)

Brainpickings quote,

She enumerates the five basic categories of rewards to be reaped from unlearning our culturally conditioned fear of aloneness and learning how to “do” solitude well:

  1. A deeper consciousness of oneself
  2. A deeper attunement to nature
  3. A deeper relationship with the transcendent (the numinous, the divine, the spiritual)
  4. Increased creativity
  5. An increased sense of freedom

Read the full article.

Temper Your Frustration

I see you over there, tempted to sulk. Stop it right there and let’s think through this frustration. I suggest grabbing a pen and a piece of paper, since there is something calming and mind challenging about actually writing it out. Spiral notebooks work well. Good for ripping out.

Point 1: what are your frustrations? Ok, I realize this might take you a few moments, so I’m going to wait. I know, I know, you enjoy the vent, but for now, please just physically write it out on paper. You are welcome to burn the paper later. Be honest. Get it out of your brain and where you can see it…them…the whole host of them.

Point 2: look at the list. What is the most grievous one to you? Circle it. Get a fresh page. Write it down on the top. Now write why it is frustrating to you.

Point 3: what was your part in the frustration? What was the part of others in the frustration? Is there anything on your part that you can do differently? Circle it. Anything you can do to make others do something differently? Nope. Go back to you. Anything you can kindly say or do differently to let the other person know that something has to change? Note, I said kindly.

Years ago, I made the parenting decision that if I hadn’t actually told my children they couldn’t do something or that something was wrong, I could neither blame nor punish them for doing certain behaviors. BUT after I had told them: that was a different story altogether.

Turns out most humans are the same way. Perhaps they honestly don’t know. Perhaps they do know, but since you didn’t say anything they are pushing it and seeing how far they can get away with something.

Point 4: many times, our frustration comes from not communicating in a manner where we are clearly heard and understood.