“The word ‘loneliness’ expresses the pain of being alone. The word ‘solitude’ expresses the glory of being alone.”— Paul Tillich
Certain times of the year can really bring to the forefront feelings of loneliness—the holidays, for instance. Valentine’s Day. Birthdays. Anniversaries of times gone by, or times spent with people we’ve loved and lost.
Certain situations can bring about loneliness. Have you ever been in the midst of crowds of people—at a party, on the bus, in a busy city—and still felt lonely? The philosopher Osho says that loneliness is thinking of the other, missing the other. While aloneness is the presence of oneself and is a very positive state. One is an absence, the other, a presence.
So maybe it becomes a question of focus. Of shifting focus from what’s missing, to being absolutely present and mindful with yourself. In the zone, as I like to say. Breathe, meditate, pray…sit quietly somewhere, surrounded by Mama Nature, becoming one with everything…and witness what happens to the loneliness.