The Antidote to Loneliness

art of encore living personal development Feb 02, 2022

 "The cure for loneliness is solitude."—Marianne Moore

How do you feel when you're alone?

Human beings are inherently social creatures. We need the presence of others as much as we need food, water, clean air, and protection from the elements.

Isolation, whether physical disconnection due to events like the pandemic or experiential due to our addiction to devices, is an obstacle to our flourishing.

Loneliness is the experience of lack that something is missing when we are alone. It doesn't feel good and can cause real distress.

But when we find ourselves alone, we can make a healthier choice—solitude.

Engaging deeply with yourself is an opportunity to reconnect with the awe and wonder of what it really means to be truly human and happy. Solitude is an invitation to remind yourself and embrace that you are sufficient and enough, even in your aloneness.

Loneliness depletes us and causes discontent. Solitude, on the other hand, replenishes and refreshes us. Even when external forces impose loneliness upon us, the gift of solitude is available.

To be sure, we each have different inborn temperaments and tolerances around how we feel when we are alone. However, we also have choices about which experience, loneliness or solitude, we want to encourage and practice.

Solitude is a time for deep reading, reflection, and presence. It's a courageous and intimate connection and conversation with yourself. 

Are you alone right now? How might you embrace and leverage this as a moment of solitude?

Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose

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