should spend time alone. Not just minutes and
hours, but days, and if the opportunity presents itself,
spent alone returns to you a hundredfold, because it is
the proving ground of the spirit. You quickly find
out if you are at peace with yourself, or if the meaning
of your life is found only in the superficial affairs of
the day. If it is in the superficial affairs of
the day, time spent alone will throw you back upon
yourself in a way that will make you grow in wisdom and
can easily fill our days with activity. We buy, we
sell, we move from place to place. There is always
more to be done, always a way to keep from staring into
the still pool where life is more than the chatter of
the small affairs of the mind.
we are not careful, we begin to mistake this activity
for meaning. We turn our lives into a series of
tasks that can occupy all the hours of the clock and
still leave us breathless with our sense of work left
always there is work undone. We will die with work
undone. The labors of life are endless.
Better that you should accept the rhythms of life and
know that there are times when you need to stop to draw
a breath, no matter how great the labors are before you.
many people, solitude is just a poet's word for being
alone. But being alone, in itself, is
nothing. It can be a breeding ground of loneliness
as easily as a source of solitude.
is a condition of peace that stands in direct opposition
to loneliness. Loneliness is like sitting in an
empty room and being aware of the space around
you. It is a condition of separateness.
Solitude is becoming one with the space around
you. It is a condition of union.
is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes in
around you; solitude expands towards the infinite.
Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal
conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots
in the great silence of eternity.
people fear being alone because they understand only
loneliness. Their understanding begins at the
self, and they are comfortable only as long as they are
at the center of their understanding. Solitude is
about getting the "I" out of the center of our
thoughts so that other parts of life can be experienced
in their fullness. It is about abandoning the self
as the focus of understanding, and giving ourselves over
to the great flowing fabric of the universe.
solitude silence becomes a symphony. Time changes
from a series of moments strung together into a seamless
motion riding on the rhythms of the stars.
Loneliness is banished, solitude is in full flower, and
we are one with the pulse of life and the flow of time.
awareness we experience in solitude is priceless for the
peace it can give. It is also the key to true
loving in our relationships. When we have a part
of ourselves that is firm, confident, and alone, we
don't need another person to fill us. We know that
we have private spaces full of goodness and self-worth,
and we grant the same to those we love. We do not
try to pry into every corner of their lives or to fill
the emptiness inside us with their presence.
always, look at the world around you. The mountain
is not restless in its aloneness. The hawk tracing
circles in the sky is not longing for union with the
sun. They exist in the perfect peace of an eternal
present, and that is the peace that one finds only in
solitude. Find this peace in yourself, and you
will never know another moment of loneliness in your
more on loneliness
is one of the most feared states in modern life. Perhaps
this fear has come about because so many of us have a vague
of a surging river of loneliness deep inside. Much of
our activity and
busyness is designed to keep that river within its banks.
Maybe loneliness has received a bad rap in
today's world. Maybe
loneliness is one of the ways our inner being communicates
letting us know that we need to take the time to get back in
ourselves. Could it be that the emptiness we feel in our
(and try so hard to avoid) is a friendly reminder that
(or someone!) has gone missing--we ourselves!
When we are lonely, it's usually a signal that we
need to spend
some time with ourselves. The next time you get this
try taking some time alone.
It is a difficult
lesson to learn today--to leave one's
family and deliberately practice the art
for an hour
or a day or a week. And yet,
once it is done,
I find there is a
quality to being
alone that is
incredibly precious. Life rushes
into the void,
richer, more vivid, fuller than before.