“True solitude is to be found in a place that lives a life of its own, but which for you holds no familiar footprint, speaks in no known voice, and where accordingly the stranger is yourself.” – Luigi Pirandello (One, None and a Hundred Thousand)
I have been reading this mind-altering, perspective-changing novel by Pirandello and a fast reader like me, has to take this one slow to absorb, observe and accommodate the truth-bombs that are splashed like spices in Indian food.
His definition of true solitude is eye-opening, in that he is not talking about a solitude in which you have cut yourself off from the world, or hiding from others; he is taking about the solitude where you sit with yourself, who has become a stranger, due to a lack of contact and self-reflection. Spending time alone, with ourselves, has become the sugar of our ‘Enlightenment Age’. There is a lot of talk going around, about self-love, self-care and other self-related terms, but the first step to achieving any of those is self-reflection.
Self-reflection is all about learning about oneself, the things that make you you and things you want to improve, the mistakes you have made and making your peace with them, finding out what works for you and what doesn’t. Only through accepting oneself fully and forgiving oneself, can you work ahead and forge a path for change and improvement.
It is not an easy road, believe me. There will be nights when you will stare at the ceiling, thinking you are the worst person, your mistakes and past faults taking a hold on your thought process. There will be nights where you will be filled with gratitude and you will be crying tears of joy. It is a road worth walking, enriching not just your life but also the lives of those around you.
Once you made peace with your inner demons, solitude becomes a blessing, like a catch-up session with your best friend. Perhaps, you will also discover that the soul-mate you had been searching for so desperately in the outside world, was really by your side since the very beginning.
Happy Solitude and Soul-Searching!