Waldeinsamkeit – The feeling of being alone in the woods.

Waldeinsamkeit is a German word that is not translatable into English. It describes the feeling of being alone in the woods. Many who speak English would consider that to mean scared, worried, or happy. Depending on your view of the world, being in the woods alone can either be a blessing or a curse.

Waldeinsamkeit is used as though it is a physical place. It is a little like the English phrase of the feeling of being at one with the universe. Solitude, meditation and contemplation may be aspects of Waldeinsamkeit. But none of those things accurately explain the word.

Earlier I mentioned that the word could be viewed as a blessing or a curse, depending on your world view. Some may find the idea of being alone in the woods as being quite frightening. But in the German usage it is seen as being positive. It evokes the sense of a calm, contemplative atmosphere in a beautiful setting. If you are a person who views the idea of a solitary walk in a forest, then you would view it as a blessing. Many people use a walk in a forest as a way to clear their minds. In the forest there is a connection with nature and a comfort in that connection. There is a sense that in the solitude of the beautiful, peaceful forest a person can get lost in their own thoughts.

If you have experienced trauma in your past, getting lost in your own thoughts, having nothing to distract you from your own body and feelings, can be frightening.

For someone who is grieving, that solitude that allows such introspection can seem overwhelming as thoughts of your loss are encountered.

Being in your own thoughts, having an awareness of your own body, can be really hard. It can cause a person to want to escape. Escape can be busyness. It can be alcohol. It can be avoiding reminders of past events and people. This avoidance of feelings has a disabling effect on your ability to function well in life. It results in difficulties coping well with life.

If you are affected in this way, counselling by a trained trauma counsellor (in the case of trauma) or trained grief counsellor (in the case of grief) can help you regain your ability to live life fully. I am qualified in both areas and am passionate about helping people be able to take control of their lives again.

If you would like experience Waldeinsamkeit as a blessing, contact me on 0409396608 or nan@plentifullifecounselling.com.au to arrange an appointment.

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