If you were to ask someone what makes a best friend, you will hear that best friends are trustworthy, honest, funny, encouraging, sympathetic. Best friends can finish our sentences. Best friends are generous. Best friends are fixed in place, staunch and steadfast. Best friends are important if not required for us as social creatures. However, it is important for you to be yourself. One can only be one’s self if one experiences time alone.
You Will Die Alone
Stating that you will die alone is not a threat or something to be feared. It is a fact. It is this fact itself that some fear. Whereas dying alone others fear. However, dying is a part of life. You cannot die if you do not live. Most are just plainly afraid of death. Those that in death fear, are in life afraid. These arrogant and/or ignorant people think they understand what death is about. They think they know something that cannot be known, arrogantly, wrongly. To be afraid of death is to be afraid of the unknown. Why are you afraid of death? Because you want to live? Because being alive is better than being dead? To whom and how do you know?
A Sad State of Affairs
A state of solitude is not a sad state. For it is the stoic, isolated mountains, desolate shores and remote forests which we are attracted to, where one goes to find peace and tranquility. Why does a person’s own fear of being alone cause them to be uncomfortable with another person who has no problem with their own seclusion?
Today’s relationships are mostly unrewarding and/or dangerous, for at least one of the participants in the relationship, if not more. Today’s relationships are uncertain. For those of us who have chosen solitude, others have a misconception of them as lonely. However, solitude garners self-awareness. Those that have no solitude, lack in their potential for self-awareness. Therefore, this misconception is sewn far and wide.
Loneliness and Solitude
The difference between loneliness and solitude is that loneliness is directly or indirectly imposed upon one due to being rejected by people resulting in isolation. In contrast, solitude allows inward reflection and is usually self-imposed. Introspection allows a man to observe his essence, his core, his nature. If one does not take the time to observe their nature through introspection, then they become subject to losing their mind, their nature unknown to them.
The Lonely Man
The lonely man appears to be broken and weak. Indeed, some of the loneliest people are surrounded by people, lots of people. Loneliness is damaging. As Robin Williams said, “I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It is not. the worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
Your Best Friend
The man that enjoys his own company is strong, lacking the need of recognition and validation for achievements. For the solitary man happiness, achievement and fulfillment is not reliant on other people. The man who can enjoy his own company, in solitude, is his own best friend.
In solitude, no one tells you not to smoke or to smoke, when to smoke, what to smoke, how to smoke or where to smoke. No one tells you why or why not to smoke. Your actions, thoughts and behaviors are not dictated. It is in solitude that you find freedom. In solitude, you heal, you restore your mind, you observe your nature. Contemplation and meditation requires peace, tranquility and time. It is exercise for the brain and the mind. It brings us to a truer understanding of reality.
Society is Lonely
Society tries to influence us to think that being alone is not good. But, it is when a man is alone, he can be himself, fully, good or bad. Being social creatures means we can’t isolate ourselves in solitude permanently, nor would one want to. If we did we would lose our grip. However, social interactions are not always beneficial for men as well. Most social interactions today are neither healthy nor beneficial between men and women. A balance is required.
Being content in solitude is the greatest achievement one can attain. Solitude rarely happens accidentally in this age of instant communications. Therefore, solitude needs to be pursued. One needs the freedom to pursue solitude. How happy we are in our solitude and what we do during our solitude is one of the main factors to successful autonomy. “A man can be himself only so long as he is alone; and if he does not love solitude, he will not love freedom; for it is only when he is alone that he is really free.” ―Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms
Not being able to be emotionally independent, that is being reliant on others emotionally, can contribute to failure when the need to be independent arises. You will need to be independent at some point, if not many points, in your life. Needing someone to rely on for encouragement or a sense of achievement might lead to self-destructive habits as a coping or an escape mechanism if no one is available.
We all need someone to lean on at some point in our lives, particularly during desperate situations. However, we need to overcome dependency to be emotionally free. The more emotionally attached we are to something, the more importance we give it, needlessly. If you do not attend your own needs first, then your own needs will never be tended to. If your happiness is attached to something, then the removal of that something removes your happiness. If your happiness is constantly being removed from your life, then you lose interest in life and life can become less meaningful to you.
Becoming your Best Friend
It is important that you anchor your happiness to you. That you know yourself and that you tend your needs and desires. The best way to know yourself is to spend time alone. If you spend time alone, you will become friends with yourself. You will never be alone if you are your own best friend. Your internal voice should be the voice that fortifies where you should be, what you should do and who you should be with. Self-discovery can help you decide if your internal voice is negative or positive. When you are alone, you often revisit painful memories.
Acceptance and Responsibility
But, if you have a chance to accept these painful memories, then you will not have to live with them and the painful emotions attached to them forever. Facing them and experiencing solitude is how to gain acceptance. For it is the painful memories that mold who we are. They make us stronger, more aware of who we are. Pain is a great teacher if we accept it and move on. It is when we are alone, we can accept and be responsible for what happens to us.
Solitude and Freedom
It is only in solitude that we can become our own best friend. It is only in solitude that we can experience autonomy. It is only in solitude that we can love freedom. It is only in solitude that we are free.