Despite all I do, I spend two or three critical hours in solitude daily. On the days that I don’t, I invariably feel frazzled, diffused, and as if I’ve lost control somehow.
We all need time to be alone with ourselves: a quiet walk, writing in a journal, time to talk aloud in the woods. Without this time, I begin to feel separate from the world.
It’s easy nowadays to choose to always be distracted, to have our minds constantly filled with the thoughts of others. But we can become deprived of solitude.
If we’re always listening to music, if we’re checking social media nine times a day, if we’re always able to glance at our smartphone at the hint of boredom, then we’re not alone.
We need time to reflect, to critique, to ponder, to be grateful, to learn about ourselves, to generate thoughts independent of others’ thoughts.
We need undistracted stillness.
It is precarious to be tuned in to the opinions of others without taking time alone to form independent opinions. Perpetual distraction sustains this.
When our thoughts are not ours, it’s easy to accept the thoughts of others without question. It becomes easy to simply never determine what we, individually, value most.
The antidote is stillness. Through slow thoughts and self-reflection, solitude allows us to create ourselves.
But these are just my thoughts. Go find solitude, and make your own thoughts. I’d love to hear them some time.
Are you deprived of solitude?
Written in stillness.
Drawing © Ariana Dyer.