“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The dictionary defines solitude as the state of being alone. It comes from the Latin word solitudinem, which means “loneliness”. A time of solitude is generally viewed in a positive way, while loneliness is more of a negative word. I believe solitude and loneliness are two entirely different things, and the focus of this post is on the positive. I’ll cover the latter in another post.
Taking time away for reflection and rest and to refresh yourself is an important part of being healthy, both mentally and emotionally. Whatever it is that gives you that necessary calm that we all need, mustn’t be neglected. For most, it’s a moment here or there, hiding in a closet or in the bathroom. While others have the luxury of scheduling time for themselves on a regular basis. Whatever your situation, be sure to make the most of it. Take time to polish the diamond that is you. Proper solitude and self-reflection are life to your bones. I personally need the solitude. Without it I’m a man most miserable. Some may say that I spend too much time alone with my thoughts, but I say to each their own. We’re all different. We all need different things. For me it’s where I create, where I hear, where I find me. I know without it my creativity is diminished, and my focus on my day to day tasks gets cloudy. You do what’s good for you. Find those moments. Don’t neglect even the smallest. Become better acquainted with the real you. Even just a few minutes of solitude can make all the difference in your life.
Thomas Mann once said “Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry.”