Recently I have discovered something important about myself: my definition of loneliness. For me, being lonely is being alone when I don’t want to be. It’s wanting to be with certain people when I can’t be. According to the article, loneliness is a “negative state, marked by a state of isolation.” I know this is definitely true for me.
But solitude is completely different – I love solitude when it’s at the right time. After a crazy day of work or class, I pretty much have to have a quiet evening. That may mean one other person, but absolutely not a group. I need solitude because it feeds my creativity, my sense of peace, my time with God, and it allows me to think clearly and productively. The article defines solitude as “the state of being alone without being lonely.” Amen to that.
I’ve known a lot of people who almost can’t be alone without being lonely. There was a time in my life when I felt like that. The reason for that however was that my alone time was not a time for deep thoughts, peace, or creativity. It became a time for me to focus on everything that was troubling me about myself or my life. I didn’t look to God, or anything good, and I was totally alone and feeling lonely. That’s a state that is hard to get out of, but we can! When you’re there, it helps to remember brighter days always come.
So go and have some happy solitude this week and let it fill you up!!