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choosing solitude?
Hello fellow travellers!

I just found this forum, and I’m very glad I did. I’ve struggled with loneliness a lot over the years, and always found it difficult and uncomfortable to be on my own for very long. I do have good friends, and I’ve been in several long-term relationships, but I find myself ‘flying solo’ again at the moment. I’m almost 45, and it this point in my life I’m more interested in dealing with the reasons I have always found it painful to be alone. Deep inside I’ve always known that the real challenge is learning how to be ok with being alone, rather than trying to find or create the right situation or combination of relationships to take away the discomfort I experience when I’m on my own. 

Ultimately (I believe) we have to find our happiness within ourselves - it can never come from others. I remember reading the story of Alexander Selkirk - the Scottish castaway who the Robinson Crusoe story was based on. He found himself shipwrecked on a tropical island alone for four years. After he was rescued he recounted how the first year or so was hellish and felt like total despair, but eventually something inside of him changed and the latter few years he felt content, and even blissful most the time. That story always stuck with me, as it showed me that it really is possible for someone to be completely happy without love and validation from others. Now don’t get me wrong - I’mn not saying that I’m going the become and ascetic, abandon my relationships and go live in a cave - I’m not - but I do feel I need to learn to find happiness within myself. 

Over the course of my life I’ve struggled with a number of addictions - booze, drugs, food - and eventually managed to overcome all of them. But I’ve come to see that it’s the desperate yearning for love and validation from others that is the deepest addiction - it is the addiction’s addiction. So I was glad to find this forum and I look forward to participating. I wonder have others here come to value solitude and working on being happy alone rather than trying to fill the ‘hole in your soul’ with relationships?

Hi Lucas and welcome to the forum. Some interesting questions- imho those that find being alone hardest are people with a strong sense of identity and see this diminishing when it cannot be 'shored' up by interaction with other ego's ie a reflection/confirmation of who they think they are. Alexander Selkirk may have freaked out initially but eventually found out being 'nothing' is ok - he didn't have a choice so resignation and abandonment to his situation was inevitable unless he did a Tom Hanks and began drawing faces on coconuts [not having a football]. 
For myself I don't try to be happy....the very thought makes me cringe though that doesn't mean I don't smile and laugh-I do.

 Not being in opposition to what is, that helps. 

I'll have a ponder on this subject and see if anything else comes to mind, Cheers CB
Welcome to the forum, Lucas (A great name for a fictional character in one of my stories - i might use it Big Grin!).

Some very interesting insights.

The problem with relying on others to make us feel good is that other people often have perceptions of us that may not necessarily be accurate. For example, because I wear hearing aids, some might look at me and assume that I'm 'dumb' - and as a result, they steer clear of me. On the other side of the spectrum, there are people who have lots of friends just because they're 'fun to have around' - but what their friends might not be able to see that person's rude or bullying nature. Just some examples.

Nobody can truly know you as well as you know yourself. We can find people to have fun with, and we can find people to confide in during hard times, but if those people don't know you for who you are, then it's best not to base self-worth on outside sources.

I hope this makes sense - I was struggling to find the right words. Smile
To quote a popular werewolf film - 'Everyone's cursed.  It's called life'
I am a severe agoraphobic.

I would suggest that for all the romantic notions of living in seclusion, one's health requires that we do not.  

I also have severe arthritis.  

I am told that exercise is one of the best things I can do.

But, exercise is physically painful for me!  And, being around people is difficult for me emotionally!

So, I must do the things that feel wrong.  As much as I possibly can.
Welcome to A.L.L.

And yes, that IS the most addictive thing.
Like any addiction, it takes time to roll back.
I believe you're onto something though...if you take it in small chunks, eventually you can learn to handle being mostly alone.
Perhaps not entirely alone that is, totally without any help whatsoever when you need it, but over time, yes, solitude does become more appealing.
I'd like to go and be an ascetic, they're interesting people. I would love to have a long conversation with an Aghori one day about the meaning of life, because I find their perspective to be interesting. However that's a very permanent decision, one that I am unlikely to strong as I am, I am not that strong. That's a whole different level of tests and challenges. I don't entirely agree with it, but I do understand their desire and need to do it...I just wouldn't be able to handle that myself.

Life is, mostly about learning how to be okay with yourself. It's about a healing process, a healing process from the addiction of the validation through other humans. That healing process can take a long, long time and is not an easy path by any means.

I find that there is a certain grey area of mixed feelings about people whom are in recovery from that sort of a thing. Modern society is quite a bit unfortunately contrived...For the prideful and the jaded, seeing another individual succeed where they've failed only makes their existence more difficult when it truthfully has nothing to do with them at all. People I feel struggle the most with isolating their perceptions from one another. I have the advantage of being introverted, but even then it's not much of a help. 

I'm very much an individualist. People are just people, you know? They're neither gods, nor pets. But everybody wants to own everybody else and use and abuse them these days, there's too much of a power struggle in our social construct. I blame the IRS, but that's besides the point (FUCK the IRS). Rolleyes Toungue
"Of Fire in Nature, Love in Spirit unkenned,
Life, hath no axle, no spring, and no End"
I was thinking its more a case of avoiding people than choosing solitude -im speaking for myself here rather than generalizing. Living amongst people is like being a get hurled/spun/bashed until you [me] say ****this and drop out Cool
 For me egos repel and non egos or those that don't take themselves seriously attract- so that disqualifies most of the population.....yep that's my severe way of looking at the human race... intolerant/uncompromising... possibly -I go my own way.  I see people as all the same -like leaves on a tree only with differing levels of b/s including myself.....
To me life has become quite simple - a journey of self annihilation hee hee sounds fun Big Grin and I see everyone else as either unaware/starting/ or on it.....I did mention im uncompromising! So if someone finds themselves alone on an island this would accelerate the process with or without there consent......there past would be just a dream and no context for comfort....yes and one day the islander can smile not because hes achieved some wonderful spiritual epiphany or status......but simply because he/she is less full of shit hee hee Cool Big Grin
I personally like to be left alone for a very long time , I like it that way

I do not like too much people interaction .

I have always seen it like a big waste of time .

I am more comfortable around my online friends than the real people i meet sometimes .
[Image: sig.png]
Thanks everyone for your responses here... there's a lot of interesting points and perspectives here, and some good stuff for me to think about. I'm going to start working - today - on spending more time alone and in stillness and contemplation... I think the latter part - stillness and contemplation - is essential; otherwise I'm just zoning out with entertainment or whatever and wasting time. Time alone, for me, has to have a purpose as well as being a practice that enables me to delve deeper into myself and access the freedom and liberation within...

Welcome. I hope you find nice people to talk to here. Happiness can come from within. Even in the worst of situations, there is light to be found, until it all goes black

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