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The Art Of Isolation

Isolation can certainly make a negative impact on an individual. On the other hand, can it also come in a form of art - where it aids with self-expression, self-reflection and emotional healing?

Do you pity yourself when isolated, or do you use this time and circumstance for nurturing, healing and hearing yourself? You are the boss in this environment, so use it wisely. 

I googled isolation in order to find an adequate picture for this text, but interesting enough I happened to find only black and white, dark and depressive looking images. Although I thought about this topic a lot already, this made me think even further. Why is it that isolation is automatically perceived from a negative standpoint? Do people pay enough attention to the beneficial aspects of it? It is time for some things to change now. 

At some points or phases during our lifetime, we all inevitably find ourselves isolated. We go through losses in forms of breakups, divorce, death, distance or life simply drags us away from other people.  Additionally, we decide to isolate ourselves in order to process certain events, changes, emotions or plans. Whatever the cause, isolation finds its way to everyone’s life. 

Now let’s take a moment to make a twist and try to perceive isolation from the following perspectives, it may be life-changing. 

  1. It’s actually your precious “Me time”                                                                              As you might have noticed, it seems that “not having enough me time” became a modern epidemic. It appears as if most of us are struggling to find that uninterrupted time for ourselves. Yet, we complain when we are isolated. A bit ironic, isn’t it? So next time, before you automatically trigger self-pity in this circumstance, try to rather approach it a precious downtime and use it to fulfill or enrich your inner self. 
  2. “You can’t pour from an empty cup” – its time to gain that energy back                  It must be very difficult to create novel content, insights or inventions if you are emotionally, mentally or physically drained. Moreover, it is hard to deliver anything at all in such state. Therefore it may be a wise idea to use that isolated time to try to recharge with practicing some relaxing activities, investing some time in preparing nutritious food or getting a bit of that extra sleep. 
  3. You will never hear yourself if you are always surrounded by people                       When you are in a difficult situation next time, instead of running to meet with groups of people, or visiting loud and crowded bars and clubs, try going to your room and let your emotions and thoughts speak to you. Sometimes, we tend to suppress them because they are often difficult to process or accept. In a loud environment, it is even much harder to acknowledge them. Aim to be honest and bold with yourself rather than escaping to an easier path. In fact, it may open up some doors which will lead you to new realizations. 
  4. You are not being dragged in the wrong directions, because you are deciding what works for you best                                                                                                    Please do not misunderstand me, being with people can be the most beautiful and rewarding thing in life. Sometimes, however, other people might pull us towards directions which we don’t necessarily belong to. This does not mean they want to do us wrong, but sometimes even with the best intentions, they might do so. For example, friends which make an impact on how we should act or dress, parents might convince us that we are a perfect fit for some profession while we are actually not, professors might drag us in the direction of their subject and many more. Being isolated for a certain period will allow you the necessary time and reflection to really and finally double check with yourself whether is ultimately you who is taking the ownership and responsibility for your life decisions, or that you are in fact a victim of your surrounding. 

Looking at the isolated time from these perspectives might make a shift to your approach to it. It is indeed a quiet and passive time, but it can also be utilized as a precious tool if approached in the right manner. Therefore, next time you find yourself in such a situation, try to refer to these approaches, they might as well bring you good and change your life for the better. 

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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