Where do you go when you need solitude?
What the fuck is solitude?
I’m kidding. Of course I know what solitude is.
I am unemployed, but my husband goes to work and my kids to go school. I have alone time (until summer break). But is that solitude? Most of the time, it doesn’t feel like solitude. It feels like isolation. Reclusion. Loneliness.
“Our language […] has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”
—Paul Tillich, The Eternal Now (I know nothing about this man or this book. Found the quote on Wikipedia, the source for all reliable information.)
“In solitude, […] I am ‘by myself,’ together with my self, and therefore two-in-one, whereas in loneliness I am actually one, deserted by all others.”
—Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (As above, I know nothing about this woman or this book. Wikipedia.)
To sum up:
“A distinction has been made between solitude and loneliness. In this sense, these two words refer, respectively, to the joy and the pain of being alone.”
At times, being home alone is solitude-like. But I think to truly have solitude, I need to get out of my house. Where do I go? I have no idea. I don’t go. But even if I did, my brain would come with me, filled with all my worries and fears and anxieties. I can’t turn it off. I don’t think solitude is a thing for me.
(If anyone wants to take me away to some island paradise, though, I’d be willing to give that a shot.)
Meditation is where I need to begin. I found a sense of peace and relaxation while having an MRI. (I know, that’s fucked up.) That was back in October. I haven’t felt peaceful and relaxed since then. That’s on me, to some extent, because that MRI made me realize that meditation could/would help me, yet I still haven’t done it.
I’m back to the mystery that is my fucked up brain. Why, when I’m pretty damn sure something will help me (meditation), do I not do it? What stops me? And again I land at the only explanation I can come up with. I don’t think I deserve it. I don’t think I deserve to feel better, happier, relaxed, peaceful. I don’t think I deserve solitude. And I need someone to convince me otherwise. I shouldn’t need someone, I know, but I do. Because I don’t believe I’m worth it.
So where do I go when I need solitude? I guess to get an MRI?
Mr. Left looks like he may be on some island paradise. I should go there.
p.s. — I probably wrote the longest answer to this question, yet I didn’t even really answer it. I think I know step one, though—find a place to meditate (and do it). Then I might find solitude.