Self-Isolation, The Dark Night of The Soul, and The Hermitage Life

The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people into self-isolation in a bid to curb the spread to the virus, and while some see it as a form of imprisonment, if you are an Old Soul who chooses a hermitage lifestyle, or have been through a Dark Night of the Soul, then you will already be familiar with periods of self-imposed, self-isolation. Many have expressed fear of being stuck indoors, others anticipate boredom, while many see this as a breach of their liberties and freedom, and often bend rules to suit them. For instance, the rule to stay at home, but you can go out for some exercise alone means to go for a walk in the park or to run around the block, not to drive 30 minutes to the beach and walk there which many people have tried to do. The end result was crowding as everyone had the same idea, which defeats the purpose of social distancing.

As a writer, I live a hermitage life most of the time and choose my company with care, and when I do go out it’s for a specific and essential reason. Thus, I choose to self-isolate, and would rather be alone than to go out for the sake of it. It prepared me well for the current situation of a lockdown as I always have enough provisions for at least a month, purely because it means I don’t have to go out and I can work without disruption. Note, this is a choice, and it suits me, while I understand others would struggle or get cabin fever staying in. For me, being in the surroundings of my choice is bliss, and to have the control of who or who not I wish to interact with is to me the best way to avoid toxic relationships.

Having been through a couple of Dark Night of the Soul experiences, I chose to self-isolate as much as I could when I went through them, and it’s necessary as you need the time and space to try to figure out how you feel and what you should do. However, not everyone will understand why self-isolation is at times necessary, but because there are so many distractions these days such as emails and text messages, self-isolation through choice allows you to focus on things more effectively.

As an Ancient Soul who chooses to self-isolate whenever possible (also many Old Souls choose this path eventually), there are pros and cons to this, and while I understand many see it as unnatural and unhealthy, it really isn’t. Most older Souls choose self-isolation because they lack the company they desire, or mainly those who understand them, they are particular about the company they choose to keep, and they loathe distractions, and self-isolation means they can control their environment and their own time. That’s why many writers and philosophers are loners because they don’t write 9-5, or have weekends off, and those who don’t have that kind of existence simply don’t understand.

This is why Old Souls tend to cope with a Dark Night of the Soul a little better than others because the self-isolation and loneliness is something that they are already familiar with. I’m fortunate that the ‘stay at home’ phase as ordered by the authorities doesn’t mean much change for me as I only ever went out shopping for groceries or click and collect orders, and the occasional trip to an art gallery or a hike. The main difference is that I have to queue to go shopping, and I’m faced with the possibility of what I want not being in stock. It goes back to the saying, look at what you need and not what you want. Self-isolation is about control, controlling your own environment and also who and what you want in your life, and in the current climate it’s about controlling the spread of the Covid-19 virus that has swept the world.

What self-isolation does, is give you the chance to stop and think about what is important to you rather than rushing around doing errands and attending appointments. Coupled with self-discipline in terms of technology, and you take back control of your life without knowing it. There was a time I had three cellphones on the go for work, and slept with one eye open and checked it constantly, but it wasn’t healthy. A phone is for my use, to call people when I wish to and isn’t for others to find me and demand my attention when they so desire. The same goes for emails in that I choose to reply to them when I want to if they aren’t urgent. Contrary to belief, I don’t get lonely as I love reading alone, nor do I consider myself an introvert or socially awkward either. The latter two perhaps I was as a child, but that’s because other children around me didn’t understand me, but as an adult I have more choices in who I decide to have in my life, and the freedom to cut bonds with any toxicity.

I try to keep a balance, and venture out every now and then, but do not feel the need to go out daily and embrace my sanctuary at home. That’s what people who feel trapped by self-isolation must think, for you created a comfortable home, so why not spend time in it? There’s nothing I love more than to sit and read a book in one go, and then binge watch a series and being able to eat exactly what I want, when I want. At times, you also need to be away from others to re-evaluate things, or simply because others are a distraction.

A period of self-isolation, be it a few days to a few weeks can be beneficial to the mind and soul, because it’s a time when you can be 100% you, and at times we forget who we are, and appear to a persona that we wish to or feel obliged to portray. It’s a time when we find out who we truly are, and to be honest about our paths and direction in life. That’s why Old and Ancient Souls can be more honest and transparent, because they are less affected by the external factors and don’t have a desire to impress anyone either. Self-isolation may sound negative, but it’s actually a means of controlling how you choose to live, for me anyhow.

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