Temple Illuminatus

Transforming Loneliness into Solitude

By Garima Roy

I don’t know if I’m unhappy because I’m not free, Or if I’m not free because I’m unhappy ~Patricia Franchini, Breathless

Do you truly feel free? Deal with this question genuinely as within the answer resides the truth of your state of mind. Do you feel stuck in this trap of desires or are you genuinely content with wherever and however you are? You may have found your dream job, partner, house but still you find yourself stuck in the labyrinth of loneliness and emptiness.

You feel restless day after day because your conscious mind wants to rise and grow. It doesn’t want to be stuck in time. Its a sort of isolation; not just from other people in one’s life, but from one’s life itself. It begins with existential crisis that encompasses existential loneliness, existential angst, existential fear and existential sufferings; all of it combined is a gateway to existential solitude.

However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light. ~Stanley Kubrick

Loneliness, like fear, is an edgy emotion and you have to pass through it if you want to enter your inner world. It is an emotion that poets, writers, yogis and artist celebrate to undergo transformation. It’s a tool for spiritual growth.

Embrace loneliness – it is an adventure towards solitude. To find profound significance of life is an engagement with the centre that lies within each one of us. And there is no spiritual short cut to being spiritually intelligent.

Anger, fear, disappointment and sadness all arise out of loneliness. Once you transform loneliness into solitude, your sense of peace never gets separated from you. However it’s a long way home and you have to do intense self-inquiry. Realise the thoughts and emotions that fill you with pain and restlessness.

It could be reminiscing past memories, future fears, suffered humiliations, love and friendships denied, failed goals. Accept those emotions. Disassociate yourself with the gloom factor present in those emotions and use it as a stepping stone to become a spiritually stronger and a better person.

A pale reflection of myself wavers in my consciousness…and suddenly the “I” pales, pales, and fades out. ~Jean-Paul Sarte, Nausea

Ego exists in order to be flattered. Your ego carries an identity and identifies with certain sources of joy. Any shift in the paradigm discomforts your ego and that leaves you feeling horrible. But do you realise that the root cause of suffering here is having a fixed sense of identity for yourself? The truth is in order to evolve one has to constantly change.

You cannot cage yourself because of your ego. Your soul seeks freedom, but your ego has a hard time believing that you are not running after an identity. You actually construct emotional baggage by trying to maintain an image in front of your friends, maintain a certain kind of influence in office, have perfect social circle and so many other things. Don’t trouble yourself. Freedom means carrying the same self everywhere.

You are exactly what you are when alone. Denying this fact is denying your own existence. Once you embrace yourself with your loneliness, you become free. In that freedom, you experience solitude. Solitude is an opportunity to renew yourself, regain perspective in life and restore the body and mind. No matter wherever you are; in solitude you are at home. As Walt Whitman said , “Alone…. And the soul emerges.”

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