I spend a lot of time in my room. It was this way when I was a young lad and it continues through to this day. When I am in my room, the bedroom door almost always is shut. I suppose it represents for me a symbolic gesture of keeping the world at bay.
According to many psychologists, this behavior is not healthy. It has been said that, when we shut ourselves off from the social world, we lose a bit of our humanity. We lose sight of the tapestry of diversity that our world has to offer and, in some cases, an individual's fantasy life begins to replace "reality."
While I do accept that the above description is unhealthy for some, I don't think it is universally unhealthy. As Taoism teaches, each person must follow their own path and some of these paths are solitary ones. (Actually, I think ALL paths are solitary, in nature, if you want to get technical about it.) For folks like me -- who innately are anti-social -- spending much of our time alone is preferable to the alternative.
There was a period in my life when I went against my internal nature and listened to the external voices. I beat myself up for being somewhat of a loner and forced myself out into the social world. I made myself miserable in the process as I was never able to connect like "normal" people do.
I happen to think that a lot of my physical ailments were born out of this period. Almost every time I pushed myself into social situations, my innards tied themselves into knots. By trying to be something I was not, I created an undue amount of internal stress and disharmony. After a few years of forced socializing, my body began to break down.
Before it could breakdown completely, I slowly learned the error of my ways. I started to listen to my internal voice more often and I noticed how the internal stress was not as great as before. While I still suffer the physical ramifications of my folly to this day, my mind is much clearer and my spirit is much freer.
The way I live my life today might be considered unhealthy (or boring!) for the majority of people, but it works for me. On my path, there is nothing wrong with a shut door.
This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.