Solitude

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, I hope your weekend was fantastic and today finds you well! First off, as I write this I realize you will be reading this after the fact but none-the-less I write it still. This week we celebrated World Mental Health Day (October 10th) and as I reflect on the therapy session I just finished as well as it being WMHD (World Mental Health Day) I cannot help but be in a mental health state of mind.

Today my story starts with Pablo Picasso and one if his many famous quotes, “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” I feel great solitude today, and many days. I am not typically lonely, and I am not even here alone, yet I am alone to a degree, and then I think about mental health, my session this morning, and those who are lonely, and are depressed over their loneliness. Although I am lucky enough not to suffer from depression, I understand that feeling, more so today than in the past. Solitude does something to you, I am not sure if I can even put words to that, but it changes you in some unseen, intangible way. I think this is different for everyone, for myself, it has caused great self-reflection. I am not saddened or depressed about my solitude, but today I understand why people feel this way about solitude, especially if there are people around you all day, yet you are still alone in a sense, as I am most days.

Like Picasso’s saying, in my solitude I find myself busy and accomplish great work. If I am not working on a project or commission, I am conducting some kind of experiment or as Picasso would also say, “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Being busy in my time of solitude, serious work is accomplished and I think this is a great perspective to have. Many people are lonely even when surrounded by others, but what if we were able to change that perspective; solitude equates to loneliness. I believe it is human nature for us to tie solitude and loneliness together, but what if we could change that. For instance, it was Henri Matisse in the early 1900s that once said when “Starting to paint, I felt gloriously free, quite, and alone.”

However, I think if we shift the perspective and use solitude as a time of self- care, and focus on ourselves, then solitude does not have to be such a bad thing, or a sad thing. I personally enjoy my solitude. I can get lost in my own little world, allow my mind and anxieties to escape and let my soul rest, or dance, or do whatever it needs at the time. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this were the solution to loneliness caused depression?

Unfortunately, it really isn’t that easy is it?  Many mental health issues are far more complex than a simple perspective change. However, I have learned through therapy that sometimes a perspective change can open your eyes to something that was right in front of you. Moreover, my Dad always used to tell me that sometimes “it only takes that one sentence, that one line, to change someone’s life.” Therefore, today, in honor of WMHD I thought I would share this with you, and who knows, perhaps what I shared today will resonate with someone. As I wrap up this blog post, I leave you with a few things to remember on WMHD; self-care is not selfish, and please remember, you have compassion for others, have compassion for yourself. Christeen

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