A Lesson on Gratitude While in Solitude
We, humans are social beings. Ever heard that before? You probably have because it’s true. Humans are social beings. We crave contact, connectedness, and we learn from each other. Our brains are wired to identify and mirror the emotions of others which allows us communicate with empathy, understanding, and sentiment. The fact that we are innately social may be why this quarantine stuff affects us so much. For most of us, myself included, the idea of being alone isn’t a positive one. It goes against everything that I know, and likely everything that you know too. The thought of aloneness produces, for no good reason mind you, feelings of loneliness and isolation. That’s just what it does. But, being alone doesn’t have to mean feeling lonely. It doesn’t have to be a sad or depressing experience, and it certainly shouldn’t cause you more anxiety than the current health crisis already does.
In some ways, short periods of solitude can be good for the soul. Being alone gives us time to reflect on our lives and to take inventory of all the things we’re grateful for. During this time of aloneness consider taking a lesson on gratitude and sharing it with those you love. Remind yourself daily of all the good things you have, even if it doesn’t seem like much right now. If you’re a parent, be grateful for the fact that to your child(ren) you are a super hero- no matter where you are. If you’re feeling isolated, take comfort in knowing this won’t always be the case. If you miss your family, be grateful that they likely miss you too. Count your blessings however few they may be. Focus on the good and find your gratitude while in solitude. For as soon as this passes you’ll be too busy to do it.
As I write this post, snowflakes gather on my windowsill. Yup, it’s a typical Wisconsin spring, and for that I am grateful.