Sunday, 12 January 2014

Feeling Isolated From Others Can Be A Huge Gift

Man On Cliff Embracing Solitude
Being alone can bring such a beautiful feeling of spaciousness inside.

Prolonged periods of solitude can be a challenge to the ego. As humans we are encouraged to interact, to socialise and to be with our fellow man, but what happens if no matter how hard we try we seem to be isolated from humanity more and more? This can actually be the biggest gift you gave yourself as a soul on planet Earth.

Many moons ago, before I began my spiritual journey consciously, I socialised a lot. My socialising involved drinking a lot of alcohol and going out with people from school, college and later university. After I had come back from travelling around Australia and my world had changed because of an awakening taking place, I began to feel more and more isolated and I didn't understand how I couldn't meet many like-minds.

While friendships have been a challenge (see What Is Friendship And Is It More Challenging In Later Life?) these past few years of being mainly on my own has revealed something far greater than I ever imagined possible, that this isolation was in fact a sacred gift I gave myself.


Society Frowns Upon Loners


Man walking alone
A mindful walk alone can be such a blessing
and helps clear the mind and hear the soul.

Earlier last year I began to interact more, and as a result I was not feeling so isolated. A woman I knew at the time said she felt that I was in my own little bubble, that in a sense it was safe, and I guess she perhaps thought I was trying to escape from humanity. I doubted my isolation and solitude because of this, but now I am without the group I was connecting with, I more than ever feel what a great gift this is.

Being isolated or in solitude can be a blessing or a curse depending on how you view it. If you see it as a curse, you may be racked with loneliness and feel lacking in your everyday life. If you see it as a blessing, you will begin to go within more, begin to see and experience the love and wisdom you had inside you all along. The 'need' for others will lessen as you feel the source within you, the gift of your inner self. This is what periods of isolation and solitude are for.

Take for example Nelson Mandela. Even though his isolation was enforced by prison life, that solitude brought him home to himself. He went through a process of acceptance and eventually loving and being a vehicle for divine love. This could be seen in the years after his time in prison, and the huge effect he had on humanity until his passing last year.

It's easy to compare our isolation or solitude with those who live busy and full lives. We may feel bored, as if we are missing something, but that something will never come from others anyway. Having this time of solitude and isolation can encourage us to seek out a greater source of contentment, of beauty and love from inside our own hearts.

Bartholomew, channelled through Mary-Margaret Moore in 'I Come As Brother' confirms the feelings I've been having about solitude:

"Some of you are very nice people and wonder why you do not have great love in your lives. When you decide to go for a challenging life, you also decide to isolate yourself from those energy fields that give you a feeling of support. For in the end, the only place that you can go for your support is to the "God Within". 

You have learned as you have moved through many lifetimes with others who love you, that the net result is happiness - so much happiness that you sometimes fall asleep! 

Fine, everyone needs a rest, everyone needs to go to the Bahamas or Hawaii for a lifetime. But there are also the steppes of Russia for you to live through."

And Tyberon also adds something similar:

It is the very sense of resulting loneliness that so often feels bitter-sweet and hollow, that compels you to seek the rich ocean of wisdom available to you in rediscovering the vast solace within your own divinity.

This simple realisation can turn a period of loneliness into a period of adventure. Instead of feeling sad and lonely you can become an explorer, but instead of explorer of the outer world, you explore your inner landscape.


Woman Sitting on Bench Alone Reading
Just because we are alone does not mean we have to feel lonely,
we can still be an active participant of planet earth.

Solitude can be such a great gift if we embrace it fully. If we resist it, it can be a hard experience of life. It takes courage to surrender to what is, especially when 'what is' contains only you and hardly anyone else.

Over the past 4+ years it was a challenge for me to embrace solitude. I had my fair share of loneliness and suffering from comparing my life with other people's, but once I began to embrace it, I became a tourist in my own town, always finding something new in nature, discovering the beauty of this alone time.


Are you experiencing a period of solitude or loneliness?

Are you perhaps in the Hawaii of your life?

Or are you going to cross the steppes of Russia and 
become the friend you have been seeking all along?


If you enjoyed this post you may like some of my earlier writing on this topic, see my journey through loneliness and solitude.







Photo credit: asafantman via photopin cc
Photo credit: Pensiero via photopin cc
Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

4 comments:

  1. Yes. This is so true and definitely resonates. I have been isolated for about the same amount of time as you (with periods of socializing more and then retreating more when Life encouraged it). Living with the bare minimum and discovering true abundance. I had my fair share of suffering when I listened to my mind. My mind also compared my Life and myself to others. And judged myself as being wrong for not having many attractions to go out into the world. As much as I tried to go back into the world, the more I felt stuck. As if I was held in my cocoon by Life itself. Surrender definitely is not for the weak. It may take a little while to turn away from our conditioning and see what is already surrendered right now. It wasn't until I stopped listening to the mind that I saw the beauty in this alone time. that I could only receive certain gifts by facing my demons and accepting this alone time. Life knew I needed this in my heart: To be able to rest and find my grounding in Truth before going back "out there." For me, depression and anxiety and everything I had ran from for so long was a calling to go within, to come Home. This alone time is actually what I truly wanted in my heart. Regardless of what society says I should be doing. I needed time to truly go within. I needed time to make peace with feeling depressed or scared or angry. It wasn't until I was totally and utterly alone that I saw the Truth that I have always been alone. Even around people. I'm alone because in Truth my Self is in everyone when I'm not listening to my mind's ideas. The mystic Osho talks about one needing to experience their aloneness before they can truly love. Only one that can be alone is capable of loving others. This is when we discover our courage and freedom. Then when the time is right and we feel grounded enough in our Self we can go back "out there" and share the treasures we discovered in isolation, in solitude. Our desert has become an oasis. Then the outer and inner aren't so different. They are one in the same. Your post inspired this comment. Thank You.

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  2. Hi Gratitude, it is so good to read your comment, and it feels lovely to have added confirmation that there are others out there like me right now.


    Like you anxiety and depression had plagued me all my life until I took this time out and realised it was time to make these feelings my friends not my enemies. And yes every time I tried to go out into the world something shifted so I was back to me on my own. Such a great gift, because I found when interacting with others I lost myself in distraction and so obviously needed more time to go within and find my own inner resources and love that I had been seeking outside of me for waaay too long.


    Regarding your Osho message, I was talking to my house-mate about this last night, about love and how I would like to meet someone from a different space at the perfect time. Whereas before I was coming from need I now realise I want to simply be in a place within myself where I love all equally, from the trees, to the birds, the bees, to the sky, to the people and for my heart to be pure and not weighed down by attachment. This is where solitude becomes such a gift and blessing to me.


    And yes, the inner and outer are not so different, I am so glad I am surrendering to this and seeing the gift it is.


    Bless you and thank you for commenting x

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes this is the universal wisdom you speak. I bow to the Truth in you that is the Truth in me and all. I am happy to see someone honoring themselves and being open, sensitive, and real enough to be in a surrender to Life itself. Even when you don't feel like you are surrendering that is part of the surrendering "process." Peace to you on this journey into your Heart!

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  4. Thank you, same to you Gratitude


    Namaste xxx

    ReplyDelete

Thanks!

Great to connect.

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