A good friend of mine who is a huge Elliott Smith fan recently turned me onto this quote by Elliott. My interpretation of this quote is that essentially some bridges may get burnt on the way to solitude and self discovery.

Although my friend who shared this with me has a plumbing company in mesa az, and has a demanding life with all of his work, he is someone that appreciates solitude and alone time.

However, we have discussed on many occasions that seeking solitude often means burning bridges. Not necessarily intentionally, but because people are so demanding of others.

For example:

Many people expect you to accompany them to dinner, the movies, and on their emotional roller coasters with them. Most people are often unaware of how demanding they can actually be on others. Which leaves them offended when you choose not to accompany them occasionally.

Many people depend on companionship and do not seek solitude like others do. So they do not understand when someone refuses an invitation and will mistake it as rejection. Even though the person who turned down the offer simply did it to have some alone time.

Many times you can lose friends over this, and may possibly burn bridges.

I know from experience that my quest for solitude and self discovery resulted in many ill from those I was always close to. However as the quote states, it allowed me to get lost and focus on myself.

Sometimes you have to sequester yourself and get lost in order to find yourself. Because normally your identity can get clouded amongst the thoughts and actions of others. It is when you are alone that your true feelings and expressions emerge, unaffected by those around you.

Solitude is not easy for everyone though. For some, the thoughts and feelings that emerge are uncomfortable, and perhaps unenjoyable to be around. And when you are by yourself they are not easily ignored by the commotion of others.

Self Acceptance

In this solitude you learn so much about yourself, and sometimes things that you possibly don’t like. However nobody is perfect, and when you learn to accept these things, and don’t continue to try and mask them you free yourself. You free yourself from the energy it takes to try and mask them, and the energy you spend worrying about them.

Life becomes effortless when you accept it for what it is. Although there are many things you can change in life, somethings are there to be accepted for what they are. Trying to constantly change everything will constantly leave you feeling unfulfilled and seeking more.

When you just accept what it is, you accept that you are complete, and there is not something that needs to fixed or changed, and you can simply enjoy life.

You can’t hide in solitude forever.

At some point you will have to re-emerge into society and reconnect with the world. And perhaps the feelings and judgements of others might begin to cloud your thoughts, and your own identity of yourself. So it takes constant reflection and effort in order to maintain your inner peace and sometimes some more retreat.

However remember that life is about balance and the constant evolution of your understanding of yourself, and your relationship with the world and people around you.

Live and let go.