How can we be alone over this surreal time of global lockdown in a way that we don’t feel lonely? Studies have found that loneliness has some very negative effects, but solitude has been shown to have a plethora of positive effects. Jesus Himself practiced regular solitude —why? In our modern culture, the word solitude is often misunderstood. We have lost the beautiful truth that has been known throughout history—solitude has transcendent power and is the medium in which our individual creativity, solution-finding and powerful new ideas can emerge.
We could take this time to just stop. Switch off. Cancel all that noise of a thousand opinions in your mind via the Internet—Just. Be. Still. For some, this feels like freedom. For others, this might feel like hell. The truth is that when it comes to inner peace, the inner spaciousness for creativity and productivity—solitude matters.
As we prepare for Easter, we remember the life Jesus lived on earth leading up to His crucifixion. Why did He choose to practice solitude? He regularly separated Himself from everyone. He practiced quietness and trust. If even He needed to do that when He wasn’t living in a time of 24/7 internet connectivity, then how much more do we need to do so?
Many people resist being on their own because they feel panicked and lonely. The negative symptoms of loneliness arise out of a perception of what it means to be alone. “If we don’t have experience with solitude—and this is often the case today—we start to equate loneliness and solitude,” says Turkle, “This reflects the impoverishment of our experience. If we don’t know the satisfactions of solitude, we only know the panic of loneliness.”
Studies have found that loneliness has some very negative effects, but solitude has been shown to have a plethora of positive effects.
Read more at Solitude vs. loneliness — they are not the same.
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