Tag Archives: Dr. Anthony Storr and solitude

Finding the Self * Solitude, Healing and the Spiritual Life

These are difficult, even dark, times. Almost 25 years ago, I began to predict in the psychic readings of many of my clients that there were dark times visible on the distant horizon. These were visions of a future in which (I now realize) stark changes in geology and climate of Mother Earth were the dominant features of a dramatically darkened world. I saw soldiers relocating people in what seemed to be massive floods, even large pieces of land turning into islands at sea where they had been part of a mainland. There may have been new and major wars, but if so, these seemed less immediate than changes in our collective, social, geographical worlds.

Because above all, I sensed far-reaching dislocations in social mood, in our connections to one another, in our connections to the planet itself. Some of this is now upon us, in the form both of climate changes, weather violence, and in a pandemic which adds a massive layer of existential uncertainty – indeed fear – to every aspect of our lives.

Out of all of this, however, may come for many a blessing, a light in dark times. In the midst of social disconnections, we discover the gift of solitude, the recovery of a fuller selfhood, opening to creativity and growth in ways our busy, highly socialized lives could never give us.

I am not alone in suggesting that solitude may be the lemonade we can make with our lemons…

An article in LifeKit – How Solitude Can Help You Regulate Your Mood is a good starting place, pointing to research showing that time alone helps us even out in our mood, that we don’t have to go into full-blown monastic retreat to attain alone time, nor do we have to push our friends away from us. There can be an art to finding small spaces of solitude, though we may need to first overcome a (western) aversion to being alone in the first place…

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