Understanding Loneliness and Solitude


Loneliness is fast becoming a social phenomenon in modern fast-paced times, with a smart phone in our hands, our elite companion 24/7! We are well-connected but it is cosmetic. Texting has given way to talking. Even couples, who bury their heads into their devices after a day’s work and also have to catch up with their favorite programs, have to plan a vacation to connect with each other.

Loneliness has a direct effect on emotions. It is more stressful than work related problems. You feel isolated and anxious, there is a feeling of disconnect despite people around you; you yearn for companionship, which may be there but you fail to recognize and reach out.

Whether it is self inflicted or caused by other factors, loneliness consumes your emotions slowly, affecting your mental and physical health. You start losing touch with your own family and friends.

When there is a conflict inside, which refuses to subside, you feel your friends are indifferent, you feel forsaken even by your own instincts and intuition, you start feeling lonely. When it starts haunting, when it grows on you, when the abyss keeps gaping at you, you enter a self-carved tunnel, which continues to get cramped if you don’t open up.

If you don’t feel like communicating your feelings, the roots of your loneliness could be deeper:
• Lack of love during childhoodLoneliness 2
• Bullying
• Loneliness experienced during adolescence
• Lack of good friends
• Cold attitude of peers
• Embarrassment
• Failure to communicate
• Lack of trust
• High expectations/ego
• Cynicism

Chasing away loneliness through joy, which is transitory, attending parties, which are mind numbing and drowning yourself in the sea of humanity, which knows nothing about your state of mind, is meaningless.

First and foremost, you must understand that nobody wants you to be lonely. It is your own choice. If you stop trusting your friends, if you don’t want to forgive others, if you fail to overlook little faults of people around you and immerse yourself in the sea of your own thoughts, it will surely drown you.

If you suffer from lowered self-esteem, lack of concentration and anxiety, they are the early signs, which might degenerate into insomnia, dejection and suicidal tendencies.
You must wake up to loneliness before it becomes clinical depression:

1. Shatter that glass ceiling under which you found refuge.
2. Start trusting people around you, all are not alike.
3. Share your feelings and thoughts.
4. Respect your emotions, they need attention.
5. Step out of self-pity. Don’t seek sympathy.
6. Read good books, they never betray.
7. Cultivate a hobby.

Let’s not forget another aspect of loneliness. There comes a time when loneliness spearheads detachment – to begin the inward journey to spirituality and for that we have to traverse the path alone.

However, loneliness should not be confused with solitude, which can be cherished by spending splendid time in the lap of nature, analyzing your own self, starting a journey toward self-healing.

Solitude is the privilege of the few: those who choose to halt, to deflect their attention to savor little moments and try to live within them. They are the ones who have tasted success and realized its futility. They love to spend time with their own self.
“Language … has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone.”—Paul Tillich

Do you live in the glory of solitude? I am sure everyone experiences those moments of loneliness and solitude. You can share them.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, they are much appreciated.

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Balroop Singh.

How Unspoken Words Harm Our Personality And Relationships

Unspoken words

A spoken word is better than those, which are kept within the heart. Unspoken words keep struggling; they create negative images in the minds of people who want to hear them and who keep suppressing them.

The words we can’t say, observes John Geddes “are the holes I punch in the walls of my psyche…” They keep growing deeper and wider with time. The unspoken words keep falling into those holes and it becomes hard to retreat them.

Unspoken words hurt. They hurt not only you, as they are emotionally strenuous but they are painful for those too who expect them to be shared. The silence keeps growing with each passing day till it becomes a habit.

You keep burying all your secrets, all the plans, even those well-intentioned ideas within your mind and when they tumble out, they provoke an untold psychological trauma for your own loved ones.

They wonder what is their role in failing to get closer to you; they start doubting their own love and misunderstandings start budding. They can never get sorted out if words remain unspoken.

Unspoken words carry emotional baggage. When feelings and emotions are not shared, they create an unknown wedge between relationships. They breed anger and angst and there is no limit to these negative emotions.

Non-communication can lead to serious rifts and it is one of the major reasons of drifting apart. Emotions need an outlet, a channel that makes them flow spontaneously.

Emotional outbursts are better than carrying an emotional baggage.Unspoken words

Repressed emotions are like a volcano and unspoken words become a lid for them. I am sure you can understand what happens when a volcano bursts!

Unspoken words create negative energy, which keeps on multiplying as people wait for the right time to share their feelings. Such a time never comes, as the right time is that moment when you feel like saying something. Once you suppress those words, you become adept at doing so each time.

Negative thoughts often change our personality as we become skeptical. Even the right-minded people, the well-wishers seem threatening and we want to shove them out of our lives.

Unspoken words conceal your real personality. How do people know about you? It is only through our words that we share about various topics and issues that others form and opinion about us. Even introverts interact with words, which may be too less!

Unspoken words make us seem hypocritical. Others get an opportunity to judge our personality according to their own perspective. If we don’t make an effort to be friendly or nice, people draw their own conclusions about us, which may not be always accurate.

Why people hold words?

  •  They don’t want to hurt others
  • They want to hide their feelings
  • They may be having some secrets
  • They could have been snubbed in childhood
  • They could be cynical or hypocritical
  • They could have been trained to do so

You can understand very well that it is all about the molding of personality, which is influenced by various factors. Whatever the reason may be, unspoken words affect us eventually. They lead us to breaking down of ties; leave us rudderless in the sea of relationships.

Do you hold your words? Is there any other reason for that? I would love to hear your views.

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© Balroop Singh.

How Writing Can Help Us In Dealing With Emotions


Writing is one of the most amazing gifts that we receive with life. When a child learns to put the alphabets together, when he starts using those words into small, broken sentences, he hardly knows that he is learning the best of all the ingenuities available to human beings to share their emotions.

Those who get an opportunity to develop and enhance this skill at an early age feel blessed when they can use this as to tool to calm down their emotions.

Have you heard about writing therapy? My friend Kim of My Inner Chick has been using it since the untimely, unfortunate demise of her sister Kay, who was murdered by her own husband.

I too have experienced its therapeutic appeal!

Have you felt the cathartic and liberating effect of writing?

Whether it is expressive writing, writing for pleasure or creative writing – it is the best outlet for those emotions, which are difficult to express and lurk deeper within the inner recesses of our heart.

As a student I had read what Aldous Huxley said about writing: “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything.”

I have often deliberated about this bizarre analogy…X-rays always conjured up darkness before my eyes but I could understand the import of his words only now…when I can discern what role darkness plays in our lives…how it props us up to look for light, almost impels us towards it…how it raises our hopes!

Writing makes us happier:

The elation of recording our feelings is so fulfilling, so heartwarming that many people develop the habit of writing a journal. We can create our own world of fantasy, in which all the characters are mere puppets in our hands. We can unlock all the doors, as the keys are in our possession…what a wonderful feeling!

Writing inspires:

Inspiration comes in many shapes and forms and writing is surely one of them. It gives an impetus to our desires. When we write down about our aspirations and goals, our dreams begin to take shape. We start feeling that we are on the chosen track and through writing; we can plan as well as take stock of our achievements, quite frequently.

Writing organizes our thoughts:Writing Quote

It gives clarity to those ideas, which are confusing or blurred. It calms us down and leads us to self-discovery. With practice, words become our best friends, teach us tolerance, control our anger and rein our negative thoughts. They slash those emotional walls down, which ward off our progress towards becoming a better person.

Writing keeps us busy:

Like reading, writing keeps our mind occupied and takes us to the next level…of honing our skills, of embellishing our imagination, of drowning all the anxieties and loneliness in the ocean of words. The pleasure of this activity can only be felt when we start sharing our solitude with the words. It keeps our mind healthy and active.

 Writing heals:

All those hurts, the agony, the emotional throttling gets assuaged when we pour it out, when we weave a wreath of words to be placed on those buried memories, when we share it in the form of a poem, a story or that precious book we write. Healing starts the moment we pen down our thoughts. We feel relieved. We learn to forgive. We rise above human imperfections.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” –Anne Frank

Writing sets us free:

Writing has given me wings. I can fly anytime, anywhere. I often perch on the branches of my favorite trees and can communicate with everyone without any reticence. All those who sit far away, in the comfort of their homes can hear me as I let my voice merge into the clouds that float around, merrily.

Have you experienced the power of writing? How has it affected you?

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Balroop Singh.