Today the fog is soft over the mountain tops and I’ll stay inside the log cabin. After having been here for a few days, it’s good to record an episode on solitariness. Solitude in general and the loneliness experienced by many gifted in particular.
I have understood by many around me that it’s common to avoid solitude. I have thought of it as a sign of immaturity with others. That they will eventually realize the importance of solitariness and begin to appreciate it. Ha ha! It turned out again that I am the one who has to learn.
The dangers of solitude
In my world, solitude is a healthy basic mode. But when I began to search literature for this episode, I met with completely different messages. Almost all books and scientific articles concerned the dangers of solitude. About the illness it leads to. How the brain is affected and degraded, and how solitude leads to increased mortality.
To be expelled from the flock has been fatal since the beginning of time. Even though we do not risk being eaten by predators now, it is still the same mechanisms that starts in our brains when we get rejected from the group. It signals a danger of life. For example, during bullying. Therefore, exclusion is so harmful to us.
That is information I have not taken in before. Because like most of you, I see, of course, what I want to see. My truth about solitude suited me perfectly. After all I read about loneliness, I have become more likely to balance the self-time with moments of belonging. I hope this episode can help you make use of the solitude you’re probably already familiar with. And courage to venture fellowship too.
Alienation – a usual feeling among gifted
You have probably heard the phrase “It’s better to be alone alone, than to be lonely together with others”. Perhaps my self-chosen solitude can be derived from such experiences. In interviews with gifted people, the feeling of alienation and the difficulty of finding genuine reciprocity, are often described. To me, fellowship has become easier to experience since I learned more about giftedness.
Being alone is still my basic mode. One that I enjoy. I believe in solitude, at the right dose. In relation to others, my right-dose seems to be great.
Discover your inner core with curiosity!
It’s in solitude you can meet your inner core, what you really are. And feeling alone, being alone, is part of what it’s like to be human.
Meet yourself with curiosity. What is there? What thoughts are there? When I’m for myself for several days, like now, I meet most feelings in myself. Feelings of restlessness, meaninglessness, fear, anger, sadness, joy, trust, love, gratitude. Strong feelings, but they pass. Feelings do. I let them arrive without trying to control them. Feel what I feel, and notice what I feel.
A small addition only. It is important not to act on all the feelings that occur. A second addition, if you feel bad, it’s not the best time to get to know your own solitariness. Then closeness or distraction is often better.
Break patterns of isolation
If you feel that you are alone too much, it is important to dare to break those patterns. Only you can break your loneliness. No one else can save you from it. I’m glad to tell that we live in a country with the world’s best conditions for breaking patterns of isolation. The likelihood that in your presence you have people who would like to have company, is sky-high.
If you lack for friendship with other gifted, I recommend the networks that are available. For those over 18, Mensa and Filurum adults is available. You who are younger, need help from your parents or any other adult, to access the networks available to young people.
Being alone is part of being human
If you avoid at all costs being together with yourself, then you will miss a part of who you are. Begin by accepting that solitariness is part of being human. It is said that everyone dies alone. What could be better than having become friends with yourself when you live, to enjoy and be safe in your loneliness?
Outsiders provide perspectives that can not be achieved among the many. Several of the individuals we have had great respect for throughout history have been characterized by an exclusion. There is a different distance per definition, to be able to look from another perspective. So it has been in all times.
Many people we admire for strength, knowledge, integrity and differentity have been characterized by periods of loneliness. Hope the pictures below give you inspiration to embrace and develop your loneliness.
How do you feel loneliness? Have you found ways to handle it? Way to break lonely patterns?
More to read
Easily accessible in Swedish about the brain and about loneliness. It summarizes much of contemporary research. Katarina Gospic, 2013, “The Social Brain”
Networks for gifted