Friday, July 19, 2019

The Beauty In Solitude

Tanya was awakened by the birds again. Chirping ever so gleefully outside of her window, they reminded her that today was a new day. She didn't feel bound by any of the misfortunes of yesterday, just refreshed and at peace. As she slowly stood up to stretch, she was overcome with gratitude, accepting the idea that today presented endless possibilities. Looking out over the quiet mountains of Montana, she was thankful for the small part she played in the story of humanity. It was time for Tanya's morning meditation, and she couldn't be more excited. She enjoyed the quiet time with her thoughts and facing her fears head-on. Through meditation, she knew she could find the inner-strength to silence the anxiety-causing voices in her head, and refocus her energy. Although currently beaming with sunlight, Tanya's mornings haven't always been so bright. 

There were times where depression and anxiety caused her to feel tied to her bed. Stuck...Unable to move, and unable to start her day. Tanya tried everything from religion to natural remedies to heal herself. She even tried being vulnerable with those around her, hoping to find a helping hand or at least some solid advice. But the more she tried to talk to others about it, the more their own problems and life experiences overshadowed her issues. For a while though, this allowed her to hide. She would hide behind helping other people solve their problems, and being the "strong friend" that everyone came to for advice. She was always willing to go out, meet people and "network" to fill the void. In this way, she was able to distract herself from doing the hard work on herself, and in her own life. If she could just convince the world that she had it all together, she might be able to forget about the fact that her entire world was spiraling out of control. But once the phone calls and text messages from friends stopped, she was forced to be with herself. She was forced to look at what was really going on beneath the surface, and what she found was a beautiful mess. 

It has often been said that "no man is an island unto himself", meaning everyone, at some point, relies on others for their survival. Although this is an important concept to grasp when it comes to community building, it is also necessary to realize that there are times when being an island is imperative for your own mental health and prosperity. There are few things more rewarding than having moments of absolute clarity, purpose, and focus. However, these moments are not often experienced in groups of people, or during a time of swift movement, and transition. Usually, the most sacred opportunities for divine download occur in times of silence and stillness. Perhaps during prayer or meditation, when your spirit is open to receiving, you are better able to focus on your next step. You're able to see more clearly where you are, and where you should be heading, as well as what may be holding you back. The clarity and self-confidence that come from spending time in solitude are immeasurable. Nevertheless, simply spending time by yourself is not enough. It is important to spend this time doing things that help you unlearn the negative thoughts and behaviors that often cause us to feel sad or unworthy. This could include reading inspirational books, spending time in nature, taking yourself on a date, or even creating art. The important piece is that whatever action is being taken during this time, it is done with intention and with purpose.

Additionally, there is an important distinction to be made between being alone, and being lonely. Unfortunately, people often assume that these concepts are interchangeable, and therefore avoid being alone at all costs. Consequently, they miss out on the healing that can be experienced from spending time in solitude. When you're alone, it's much easier to reflect, assess, and plan based on your own needs and desires. There is no one else around to make you doubt, or question those desires, and you are better able to see yourself for who you truly are. These moments in solitude should not be feared or avoided, but rather sought after and embraced. So today, I challenge you to spend some intentional alone time each week, to center yourself and refocus. The reward from doing so may not be immediately apparent, but over time, you are sure to experience the many benefits if you stay consistent.

All Power and Love to The People,
Shani ✊🏾

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