The Difference Between Loneliness And Solitude
Although loneliness and solitude are often thought to be the same experience, nothing could be further from the truth.
For a long time in my life I felt lonely. Even when I was married living in New York, I felt lonely. The reasons were: 1 – I was terribly unhappy in my marriage and 2 – I didn’t have a healthy relationship with my own self.
Feeling unhappy in a relationship is a relatively easy situation to fix. Sooner or later one of the two – if not both – start a process of separation. Now creating a relationship with oneself is a bit more complicated because it requires courage and commitment. Courage to embrace all aspects of our being – what we consider “good” and what we consider “bad” – and commitment, because it will take time to form a bond.
Once you decide to get to truly know yourself, solitude becomes the space and time to make it happen.
It is in solitude that we learn to hear our own voice. It is in solitude that we learn to see and appease the pain. And it is in solitude that we learn loneliness is only for people who don’t know themselves. In solitude we find compassion for ourselves and the joy to provide contentment.
Below is an excerpt of “Journal of a Solitude” by May Sarton:
“Nevertheless this solitude into which we have just come, and which gives us such a strong sense of inner responsibility, and at the same time of the impossibility of being self-sufficient, is experienced as a solitude only because it is at the same time an appeal toward solitudes like our own with whom we feel the need to be in communion; for it is only through this communion that each consciousness will discover the essence of its destiny which Is not to perceive things or to dominate them, but is to live, and that means to find outside itself other consciousnesses from which it never stops receiving and to whom it never stops giving in an uninterrupted circuit of light, of joy and of love, which is the only law of the spiritual universe. “