Solitude vs loneliness

Solitude vs loneliness

Another chapter, another adventure, another shift in life.

I have left my corporate job and am transitioning into something new, both personally and professionally.

Part of this shift is (re)creating space to be on my own for reflection, rest and re-grounding.  This got me thinking about the difference between loneliness and solitude.  And to really dig into what I felt about being alone.  I discovered that for me solitude brings benefits…loneliness brings heavy feelings.

Here’s some (but not all) of the benefits for me from solitude:

  1. I can hear myself, deep down in my body and soul.  My own desires make themselves known as weird as they may be.  I don’t have anyone to consult, so my intuition is growing stronger.  This also means I am becoming more comfortable with not knowing all the answers to what my life really means or how it will really turn out.
  2. I spent most of my life with others around me…boyfriends, husbands, children, coworkers.  I am learning to lean on myself, do things for myself, enjoy being on my own.
  3. Aren’t we all alone in this world?  We may have people around or beside us…but…come on, in the end we are on our own, but alone together (credit to: PS I love you).  No one is responsible for how I feel, or how “happy” I am… that’s an inside job and a daily choice.
  4. I can eat popcorn for supper or sit around in my pajamas on a Monday evening.  And I do.  I see that I don’t owe anything to anyone else, including my former/younger self, on what is acceptable or normal.  Spending time with myself opens the door for recognizing that fitting in or conforming to society isn’t necessary.
  5. When I separate being alone from loneliness it’s very clear that they are not the same.  When I am lonely I ache for someone/thing else to distract me, comfort me, entertain me.  When I am alone I can be myself, and I can be content on my own.  I am becoming. And I like solitude.


Comfort with solitude goes hand in hand with the ability to be slow.  To really feel what’s happening in the body as I spend time on my own.  If I am on the go all the time, I can’t increase my level of ease with aloneness.

I’m curious how comfortable you are with solitude?  Do you intentionally make time for it?  I think we’ve said this before – how much our society values busyness (which can include socializing or always having others with you).  We’d love to hear what you do on your own and how you cultivate the moments of aloneness.

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible – Pablo Picasso

So, what shifts are you percolating around you? Do you need to slow down or pause to get a sense of what lies next for you? Often, that is needed. Feel free to reach out to use if you need some support or resources to take that pause to understand what frontiers are calling you from within the deepest parts of yourself.



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