Seclusion: What we want, What we reject

Seclusion, that time to be alone, away from the world, a time to reflect on ourselves, on what life means to us, on where we want to take our lives. We seek this; we freely tell others that we just need some time alone to find that new direction, time to find resolutions to long-held frustrations and disappointments in life, time to give quality time to those we love. And yet, once that time is found, we hurriedly reject it.

One of the potential silver linings of the coronavirus’s demand that we isolate ourselves to let the crisis ease was that we would have this time to read, to spend quality time with immediate family members, and to rediscover ourselves. Why have we so quickly attempted to continue life as usual, rushing to continue social interaction? Just consider:

Turn on any TV channel and what we see are people showing and demonstrating the many ways to continue talking to friends and maintaining our connection to others, as though that was our calling in this short life. Tune in to any social media and it’s on overload. Everywhere, our use of phones and social media and TV shows our fear of being alone with our thoughts, much preferring to cling to social media and talk about the coronavirus. When this crisis ends, we will find a huge hole in our lives, that time wasted as we chased human contact, yet not discovering any new aspect of ourselves or of our family. When faced with quiet serenity, we always prefer noise. And if noise is not there, we make it ourselves.

Why do we do this? Why, knowing the benefits of self-reflection and seclusion, do we run as fast as we can to avoid it? Is it that we look at the coronavirus as just an issue we need to quickly overcome, or an issue we prefer not to contemplate, or are we afraid of being alone with ourselves? I believe it is a flaw in our genes; we’re afraid of knowing who we are. Am I wrong? Think about it if you dare.