Understanding Loneliness and Solitude

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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.

Do You Struggle With Self-esteem? 5 Ways To Bounce Back

How to enhance self-esteem

People around me could never hurt my self-esteem, not because I was never in such a situation but because I never let them! Even as a child when I was asked to apologize for no fault of mine, to please somebody’s ego, I refused. I knew I would be punished but I didn’t care!

My mirror has never told me that I am not the best or I can’t excel. I always knew I am much better than many.

Criticism of others affects me in a positive manner. I try to introspect and dismiss the judgment of others as their opinion. I try to work on my imperfections in such a manner that enhances my self-esteem.

What lowers self-esteem?

  • Negative home environment
  • Broken families
  • Bullying
  • Insensitive friends
  • Shaming by a parent or a teacher
  • Self-blaming
  • Intimidating or controlling partner
  • Demanding boss
  • Dwelling on your weaknesses

Self-esteem is not given; it is earned; it is cultivated and it is snatched when others try to smash it.
“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” Michael J. Fox

I have faced the worst of criticism and ridicule for being too thin and tall, for failing in Math, for writing beautifully and neatly but not completing a given test within the specified time, for keeping aloof and being arrogant. The list is very lengthy but the reality is that my self-esteem could never get shattered with the insensitivity around me because I knew those were hollow observations of jealous people. I always knew I am enough!

What can help?

Positivity: Read positive quotes, think positive thoughts, spend more time in the company of positive-minded people. Walk away from those who don’t respect your opinion. Try to understand that there is no age for personality enhancement and your growth and development is an ongoing process. Have faith in yourself and your capabilities. Don’t compare yourself to your friends or colleagues. Stop blaming yourself just because others try to shift their responsibilites.

Face your fears: If you let your fears hibernate, if you don’t discuss them even with yourself, they could shrink your heart, wound your spirit and keep consuming the remnants of your mettle to fight them. Let those alligators out of your mind. Discuss them with a confidant or a therapist. Learn to accept the fear of failure because only when we fail do we rise with renewed zeal and energy.

Forgive yourself: Forgiveness is that virtue, which sets us free and acquaints us with the finest emotions. It unshackles the chains of guilt that we weave around us. It soothes our mind. We can emerge out of those dark corridors of fears and insecurities that people around us pushed into. We can see ourselves in a new light. Self-forgiveness, even if we may be guilty of hurting others, is of utmost importance to build our self-esteem.Self-esteem quote

Quit self-criticism: Self-judgment is more detrimental than the nasty remarks of others. It makes us doubt our own intentions, it ruins our confidence, it pulls us back into the dumps of depression and lowers our self-esteem. Self-reflection is good as far as it encourages us to work on our weaknesses. It is better to train your mind to think positive, to remember that those who attack our self-esteem are actually dealing with their own insecurities.

Take pride in pursuing activities you love: Invest in yourself. Search within. Spend time with yourself and indulge in those activities that you enjoy. Stop pleasing people around you. Be proud of yourself and your little accomplishments. Self-love is not being selfish, it is being kind to yourself. Don’t allow anybody to disrespect what you like to do. Count your strengths and your blessings. Be yourself. The best freedom is being you.

Always remember – ‘the more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.’

“Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?” Brigham Young
Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections, as they are much appreciated.

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

How To Knock Off Indecision And Procrastination

Are you indecisive?

Procrastination is not just the practice of putting off important tasks; it speaks volumes about the inability to take decisions that we believe to be right. It also exhibits our lack of confidence and faith in unknown fears. Unless we tackle those fears, we remain in the grip of others.

Moments of indecision slip from our hands like sand; we unconsciously transfer the power that lies within our reach; we let the seconds tick through our minds, pondering over the questions…such nightmarish moments turn into regrets that stick forever.

If we have no choice, we fret and fume, we detest all those who block our freedom but when choices lie before us, we dither, we think and we look at others to take a decision. Jim Rohn has rightly pointed out that “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.”

Why are people indecisive?

  • They don’t want to displease anyone
  • They are scared of making a wrong choice
  • Insecurities shackle their thoughts
  • They lack confidence of facing risks
  • They could be perfectionists
  • They detest change

Determination and confidence are the two essential traits of a decisive mind.

Know your mind: It is the quality of a strong and well-developed personality. We all pass through the phase of indecisiveness. When we are immature to trust our decisions, we give in to the wishes or commands of others. When we start understanding our needs and desires, we ought to acquire the confidence to take our decisions.

Build Confidence: Most teenagers try to wrest the control of their lives from the hands of their parents and want to take their own decisions. Those who live from their heart are quick in learning the art of decisiveness even if it may prove disastrous but they don’t dwell in those parallel lines, which take them nowhere. Decisiveness is the most significant personality trait that leads you to success.

Dismiss fears and sneers: Boulders of fear block our path but we have to take a detour to avoid them. When I decided to quit a secure job at the age of 24 and start a family, my colleagues looked at me in bewilderment, some even scoffed at my immaturity but I didn’t look back. I have never even had a regret though I could never reach that position, which I had secured at that young age.Be decisive!

Support: If you don’t have the nod of your family or partner, you may vacillate and wonder whether it is the right time to take a decision. Time is never right if we think too much. ‘Now or never’ is a good guiding force to knock off the monster of indecision.

Trust Yourself: Procrastination slowly gets entrenched in our personality and becomes a habit. It corrodes our confidence, smothers our thoughts and restricts our actions. We become mere puppets in the hands of people around us. Sometimes unilateral decisions lead us out of the conundrums of life.

Are you a puppet? Do you take your own decisions or procrastinate?

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

If you have liked this post, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.

 

 

Realism Is NOT A Sign Of Defeat

Realism is a light

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
I am a realist, a poet and a friend.
The door didn’t open.
I stood there, wondering…did I say something out of place?

I didn’t give up and knocked again, softly.
What do you want?
‘Nothing.’ I couldn’t say a word beyond that.
Expectations? Did I say I don’t have any?

Often I tell myself – expectations are emotional signposts that stunt your growth.

While trying to keep them at bay, introspection pays an unexpected visit…

I know this world is skeptical. I know nobody likes to befriend a realist.

I have been turned away like that a thousand times yet I didn’t learn any lessons.

When I met fantasy, she took me beyond the horizon and introduced me to the stars but their incandescence couldn’t blind me.

Those flights were like lying in a hammock and I could perceive some magnificent hues, relaxing and gathering some fantastic confetti to sprinkle upon my words.

She also whirl-winded through the corridors of romance, riding on the waves of ecstasy but I didn’t lose my sanity. I couldn’t soak myself in the fragrance of fickle-hearted, frivolous love despite its alluring attraction.

When I met mystery, she took me into the darkest tunnels where cobwebs tried to block my vision. Darkness could not hold me for too long as the eternal optimist within me keeps me humored all the time.

Melodrama couldn’t lure me and I refused to be carried away by its teary-eyed hypocrisy.

Thrilling adventures did hook me but their enticement was short lived as my mentor was always breathing in my ear the admonishing words in a firm tone.

Observation and intuition have been my best pals! I still love them.

Realism keeps me grounded. It connects me with people, their emotions and experiences of life.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward 

I met realism very early in life when I was just beginning to form my memories. I remember him clearly standing in the door, with scary daggers in both his hands, reminding me to remain indoors.

He told me, ‘you are a girl in a men’s world.’ This warning developed my emotional quotient and intuition.

He walked with me all the time, threatening to knock me into a drain. One day he did so when I refused to listen to him and jumped ahead to buy a candy.Realism quote

The rebel within me leaped out each time to scratch his face. Some times I did succeed in dodging him but that only exposed my own imprudence.

He revealed to me the travails of life; the aches and the hurts that he gave me steeled me. He acquainted me with the secrets and diktats of my culture. He taught me to pour an embittered heart into a cauldron and ignite it with my words. I grew up with his cues and his decrees became a part of my personality.

An internal rebel, I yearned to break free. There is no doubt that realism can be stifling at times.

Freedom did grace my home and the precious wings that I cherished were spontaneously passed on with realistic values to the next generation.

Realism keeps me focused yet a little dose of fantasy makes a coveted cocktail of poetic delight. Emotions too keep peeping in though I have learnt to channelize them. When I look at my early poetry, completely driven by emotions I marvel at my personal growth and the whole credit goes to introspection.

“Realism can break a writer’s heart,” said Salman Rushdie…such is the power of realism but I have reconciled with him as he has mentored me all my life.

How much of a realist are you?

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

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.