The Importance of Solitude

Each of us is given a special talent or gift, which we should use in a positive way. For some, the gift may be the ability to make others laugh, while for others, it may be the power to heal physical and emotional wounds. No matter how insignificant they may seem to an outsider, our gifts come from deep within us. They are not taught, yet they must be nurtured. It is up to every one of us to listen to our inner voice, hear what it is telling us and develop our special talent. Our automatic reaction might be to feel that we don't know what our talent might be. We may even feel that we have no special talent. If we dig deep into our soul and open ourselves to the possibilities, then we will find our true gift.

For most of us, our natural ability, which would allows us to propel to great heights, is buried deep in our psyche, covered up with layer upon layer of obligations. This is where the importance of solitude becomes crystal clear. Solitude is the path to self-discovery. Solitude is the road that leads to inner passions. For some, to fully complete their individuality, they must make a solitary journey into their soul.

Solitude does not come easily to everyone. There are those who are completely uncomfortable with the idea of spending any time on their own. They will do anything to avoid spending time in the company of themselves. What is it they are afraid of? What could they possibly learn about themselves that could be so frightening? There is a great possibility that what they find out may not be frightening. Avoiding solitude does not allow us an opportunity to listen to our inner voice and as a result, we leave a large part of ourselves uncultivated.

Those who seek solitude, see it as an opportunity to recharge their inner being. Those who relish and embrace it, gain insight into themselves that cannot be achieved in today's fast paced existence. Consider a typical day of an individual living in the 21st century. The day is full of tasks on a to-do list that is constantly being replenished. By the time one task is completed, at least two more have been added. There are deadlines to meet; bills to pay; meetings to attend; people to impress; household responsibilities to attend to; and family members to cater to. On and on it goes.

How can one hear the sweet sound of their inner voice when it is being silenced by the cacophony of daily living? How can one take time to learn the true nature of their calling, when there is scarcely any time left over at the end of the day? The answer lies in not making more time, but in making you a priority. Put yourself, your needs, your emotional and physical well being above everything else. If you don't become a priority in your life, then you cannot provide those around you with your best self.

Solitude is not selfish. It is a blessing to be used for the purpose of recognizing and accomplishing our true passion.

Human beings were not intended to be alone or lonely. We were created with the ability to give and receive love. Our Creator gave each of us the ability to create whether itís to create a masterpiece, to discover a cure for a fatal disease, or to make advances in technology we have the ability inside of us. It has been given to us in equal proportion and in a manner that is in keeping with our overall nature. I do not believe that the jobs we do on a daily basis necessarily or accurately reflect our life's passion. For most of us, our jobs are a means to an end a way of maintaining a lifestyle we have become accustomed to. This is not to say that we do not like our jobs, it simply means that if we could be guaranteed the same pay and benefits to pursue what some call a lifelong ambition, and then the majority of us would find ourselves in a completely different environment. The reason is simple. What many would find fulfilling might be considered by today's fast paced society as idealistic and not relevant. For example, traveling to a foreign country; immersing ourselves in a new culture; appreciating the beauty found in nature; teaching a course on the importance of self-worth; running through the sprinklers with your kids, or looking at your own life with a new appreciation.

All these things are within our grasp. We have the capacity to accomplish anything at anytime. All we need is to recognize that our inner voice requires attention and it needs to be heard. Let's set aside some quiet time for ourselves so we can hear and understand what our true purpose is. Turn off the cell phone, go for a walk in the park, and play on the swings. Play like you've never played. Solitude does not necessarily have to take place in a quiet, dimly lit room. It can happen in the great outdoors or in a luxury hotel. Solitude occurs when we turn our attention inward instead of being overwhelmed by outside distractions. The important thing is that we don't leave it too late, because the worst thing we can do to ourselves is to put off our dreams.

Graduate of the University of Toronto with a BA in Sociology. Currently employed as a commercial credit officer specializing in small business lending. Enjoys the solitude of the ocean and its calming powers.

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