Solitude: Developing Personal Intimacy
Articles By Dan Hunter

Many of us who grew up in neglectful, invalidating, and abusive households never learned to appreciate ourselves. Instead of being taught that we were important, deserving, capable, lovable, good, and valid, we were taught the opposite.

Because of these conditions, we developed a negative inner perspective of ourselves. We came to believe that somehow, we were "never enough" because we did not receive enough validation to develop a positive attitude toward ourselves and those around us. We came to project being invalidated and rejected instead of being appreciated and accepted. Because of this feeling of "not fitting in", many of us ended up doing one of three things:

1) retreating from the world (withdrawing/denying/sedating/distracting)

2) rebelling against it or dominating (rebelling/controlling)

3) complying with whatever it was others wanted us to be so as to become "acceptable" (submitting)

The problem with all 3 of these "defensive" measures is that all of them reject the reality of what is and result in either our own isolation, self-rejection or abuse of others. We never realized we could validate ourselves whether others did or not and that our own opinions of ourselves and our sense of personal dignity was not dependant upon what others thought of us, but upon what we thought of ourselves. We could choose to approve of ourselves whether others did or not though for many of us, to do so would usually result in "punishment" which was really a nice way of saying abuse. Our spirits were broken and most of us had little choice but to conform at least until it was possible to leave our homes (prisons) in one way or another. We were virtually treated as slaves - comply or else! We submitted out of fear and shame.

It is difficult to want to be any part of a world when one's perspective of it is that it is unsupportive, abusive, and neglectful. It is said that many alcoholics for instance are the only people who treat loneliness with isolation. My reply to this is that the reason for this is that they do this because they perceive it as better to be alone than to be abused. They have not been supported in life so they have naturally developed the belief that they will not be. Simple experience has taught them that others are not validating, trustable and supportive so they simply give up trusting.

Learning to trust and appreciate ourselves and our own worthiness is key to developing an inner sense of Serenity - something that most of us were never taught how to do. We can learn to do this by developing creative outlets for our self-expression which can allow us to mirror back to ourselves and others our innate Talents and Truths. This self-validation is important if we are ever going to learn how to develop an inner calm and emotional security within ourselves.

Support groups are very important in filling our human need for love and in serving as the supportive family structure many of us never had. It can be very helpful to get us started in developing personal validation, but eventually, learning how to love ourselves even without the help of others can provide us with a way to feel valid even when these groups are not available. Developing an unconditionally loving and supportive Higher Power connection via meditation is another very powerful way to self-validate and is what I choose to do on a daily basis to feel grounded, secure, safe, and supported within myself. All I need do is close my eyes and connect with this Source whenever I need it. I cannot tell you how important this has been to me in developing a sense of Inner Serenity.

Keywords: Developing Personal Intimacy, solitude, sense of Serenity, Divine Love, Dan Hunter, Intuition, Intuitive, Articles, UK, South Africa, Cape Town;

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