Being with oneself

The other day, a friend asked me, “What’s your plan for the evening?” It was a weekend and the question was pretty normal; my answer wasn’t. I said, “I am going to enjoy my company,” shocking my friend. In other words, I do enjoy solitude. That’s the time I think, evaluate and get answers to some of my questions.

Living in a world, racing as if there is no tomorrow, how often do we get time to ourselves? When was it that we asked a few relevant and critical questions to ourselves? Irrespective of age, as adults we need to know what the purpose of our life is. What are our achievements; our successes and our failures? Wealth is necessary to the extent of getting the basic comforts. Once we understand that we should have goals beyond materialistic, everything changes. As someone said appropriately, all the significant battles are waged within the self.

It’s true we all have the same time. But, there are huge demands on our time as well, dictated by our work environment, our families and the community around us. Self communication requires solitude and finding that is indeed a task. If we continue to look at the windows of opportunities that come our way, then self communication in solitude is not only possible, but also can be frequent.

One can find solitude while walking on a treadmill or on a beach, being at the mercy of a barber, or hearing a soothing music with your favorite drink or in any such situations. The more innovative we are the more frequent can be the self communication. Self communication is also a process of cleansing our inner self to get wiser and mature. We often complain that our parents or spouses haven’t understood us. But wait. Before that, have we understood ourselves? The beauty of this is that there is no end to learning. The more we know, there’s more to know.

Often I read the obituaries column. It’s good to know what people are leaving behind. But it’s necessary to know what we are leaving behind. It’s not about who will cry after you die. It’s more about in whose lives do we bring some smiles. And whether we are leaving behind a memory undying.

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V Pradeep Kumar

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