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Embracing Solitude

A woman in solitude sitting in a forest alcove with a waterfall in the background

Solitude is "the quality or state of being alone or remote from society." I used to hate being in solitude. It made me depressed to feel so separated from the world. I always needed to be surrounded by others. Understandably so. As humans, we are social beings.

Maslow created this Hierarchy of Needs that reveals five levels of needs that we have as humans. The first being the basics such as water, air, food, clothing, shelter and sleep. The second is the need to feel safe and secure. The third level is the need of belonging and love, which is a social need for friendship, family, intimacy, and a sense of connection.

A connection, according to Oxford Languages, is defined as,"a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else." An emotional connection is a bond that joins two people together. This bond links two people together on a deeper level and includes a feeling of alignment; feeling seen, heard, understood, and valued.

A male and female whose souls are connected together

A deeper bond with someone is also known as a soul tie. Simply put, a soul tie is an emotional connection between two individuals. There are different kinds of soul ties. Soul ties can be formed with a relative, a co-worker, a friend, and even a pet.

A soul tie is a connection between two souls that is formed through conversation, shared experiences, and actions. Emotions begin to develop, which establishes a portal, per se, that allows the connection to form. Our emotions determine the energy that is transferred. If the other individual is open to receive the energy exchange or vice versa, then a soul tie is developed.

For example, a man finds another woman attractive strikes up a conversation with her. As he converses with her, they discover that they both have a lot in common. They enjoy the doing the same activities, watch the same kind of movies, and have similar habits. They have experienced similar things in life, such as being cheated on, so they both understand that pain. As they conversed, a soul tie began to develop when they realized how well they both connected. As they get to know each other better, that bond begins to strengthen. they find that they make each other happy, and really enjoy each other's company. There is a synergy of positive emotions that is being exchanged between the two of them.

In this example, there was this chemistry, a spark, that drew them together. Their emotions that are revealed through their conversations and physical contact feeds that connection and keeps it strong.

The Bible even mentions a soul tie in 1 Samuel 18:1 (NKJV), "Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul." This reveals how these two friends bonded instantly with each other, having just met, and the love that was found through their connection.

Soul ties can be healthy or toxic. The example above is an example of a healthy soul tie.

Now if being around someone puts you in a state of agitation causing you to feel angry, then there is an unhealthy soul tie. Such as my experience with my coworker that I described in this post: Triggered.

A soul tie was created when she displayed compassion to me, and because of that I opened myself up to her, trusting her with personal information pertaining to my struggles. This soul tie became toxic after she began mistreating me and I began feeling resentful and angry. If I had guarded myself from the beginning, I would not have opened myself up to her, by trusting her, which allowed this toxic soul tie to develop. Or, if I had placed a boundary earlier, it would not have lasted as long as it did.

Negative soul ties can leave us feeling drained. Especially when you are the one who is constantly pouring into the relationship and all they do is take from you. This creates an imbalance and you find yourself feeling exhausted.

After my most recent encounter, I was triggered to the point where I began feeling overstimulated, overwhelmed, and drained. I desperately felt the need to isolate. I believe isolation can have some negative stigmas attached it. At first, I kept telling myself that it was not good to isolate. That's what I had been told many times in therapy. Yet, this feeling that I needed to isolate just wouldn't go away. So, I did just that. I shut off my phone and disconnected myself from the world. It was exactly what I needed.

Dealing with your own emotions along with picking up on everyone else's around you is tiring. Solitude can provide the space that is needed to process. It allows us to reconnect with ourselves without any social obligations or outside influences. It also allows us to rediscover our values and gives us the space we need for reflection.

When we are around others, especially when we're in the process of establishing boundaries, we can forget sometimes what our values are and find ourselves conforming to their beliefs, actions, or behaviors in an effort to seek approval. This can even be done subconsciously. Our identity becomes entwined with their identity and we can lose sight of who we are. We can take on their emotions, their beliefs, and their attitudes as our own, allowing ourselves to be molded into their image.

However, when we detach ourselves, and embrace solitude, we will value the amazing gift we have been given, and discover ourselves again. Solitude can be such a beautiful experience. Embrace the opportunity for solitude whenever you can!

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