I’d never given much thought to the difference between solitude and loneliness.
I discovered it, though, while healing from a breakup.
And I’ve come to understand that the distinction is an important one.
I could have ignored my pain from that breakup by jumping into a new relationship.
Or by filling my days and nights with directionless distractions.
Instead, I decided to invest some time in facilitating necessary healing deliberately.
One step of my healing process was to paint. On one canvas I painted words.
Below is some of the text I painted when life was so low I had nowhere to go but up. (I know how super dramatic that sounds, but it’s true.)
- Our questions are answered in solitude.
- True quiet is a deep sense of being alive.
- LONELINESS = Poverty of self.
- SOLITUDE = Richness of self.
- Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full.
Because the words all related to the theme of “being alone,” it was then that I discovered the difference between solitude and loneliness.
Solitude is a peaceful sense of being alone without feeling lonely. It’s being comfortable and content in your own way, in your own skin, enjoying the company of the person you’re with; ou.
Loneliness, on the other hand, is marked by a sense of isolation—of feeling uncomfortable and not liking it.
Loneliness is being alone without having the support of solitude.
Occasional solitude can serve as an opportunity to invest in yourself.
Whether you’re pursuing creativity, challenging yourself, confronting a weakness, modifying a habit, or facilitating healing from a breakup, it’s nice to find yourself in solitude.
“Don’t get lost in your pain; know that one day your pain will become your cure.” ~ Rumi