Excerpt: If you ever felt weird or guilty for wanting to be alone; if your spouses don't understand your need to have time for yourselves, now science is here to back you up
People who have taken the path of empowerment and ascension find themselves alone for substantial periods of time. Years may pass and they would not have significant relationships, friend-wise, romantic-wise and otherwise. Science has long proved that not only periods of solitude are important for our well being but they are a necessity. For example, in an article published in "Calcalist" (Hebrew) several leading researchers from the innovative field called the "sciences of solitude" described their latest discoveries. According to them, they are fighting for the future of mankind.
In the past years, science has investigated the various influences of solitude, whether that lasted for just a few hours per day.
A myriad of experiments discovered how spending time with ourselves and doing things on our own is crucial for our cognitive, emotional and social processes, and essential for the balanced and appropriate growth of the psyche.
Eight benefits of solitude -
Being more successful - according to an experiment conducted by Prof. Daniel Gilbert from Harvard University, the scientists claim that people who do assignments by themselves do it better.
Being more emphatic towards others – The psychologist Adam Weiss found that socially active people have difficulties to express empathy towards people who are not included in their immediate social circle. On the other hand, people who deliberately chose to spend time alone were more open and emphatic towards near and far strangers.
Being creative – people experience life differently when they are alone than when they are with other people. They experience it more authentically without social influences.
Surviving in this world – solitude, according to the researches, played an important evolutionary role in the development of imagination. Imagination, I should add here, allowed humanity to handle potential hazards and be prepared for disasters, individually and en mass.
Being healthier – solitude by choice is important in adolescence. The research found that adolescents felt better after they had spent time alone. They were more social and more successful at school.
Not feeling lonely – "half of the households in Manhattan are of people who live alone. 31 million Americans live by themselves", says Prof. Erik Kleinenberg from NYU. "In Stockholm, it's even worse; two out of three households are comprised of one person only". Despite the negative connotations, "solitude is exactly what we need to restructure the purpose of our existence and the essence of the self", says Kleinenberg.
Preparing for the future – In our era of technology, we need to understand what it means to be alone, in solitude. The current generation of children has different patterns of "aloneness".
Creating a true self – Prof. Sheri Terkkel from MIT, author of "Alone together", says that "the classic process of solitude solidifies the outer self from the inside out; it is developed through the inner dialogue. Although social networks like Facebook are places for the individuals to express themselves they are ultimately just a show that we present to others. Only when we detach from everything we are able to present the true self that we are".
The new findings by science don't tell you something you intuitively don't know already. However, a professional reassurance for the path you walk is always a good remedy for the doubting mind. You may also agree, therefore, with a very important finding that the researchers have discovered:
solitude must be chosen by the individual. It must be the outcome of free will.
Prof. Christopher Long from the Baptist University in Arkansas says – "people who willingly choose to be alone will develop very positive feelings towards the notion of solitude."
While I do agree with the findings, I strongly believe that the nature of man is not to be alone. Ultimately, the periods of solitude are not needed in such intensive and expansive quantities. When we connect with our inner true self it is only natural for the outer reality to reflect this inner union. It is important, therefore, to be cautious not to put solitude, per se, on a pedestal.
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