Solitude is a condition of peace that stands in direct opposition to loneliness. Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. loneliness is small, solitude is large. loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nodbody answers; solitude has it's roots in the great silence of eternity.
Friendship is not a remedy for loneliness. Loneliness is part of our experience, and if we are looking for relief from loneliness in friendship, we are only going to frustrate the friendship. Friendship, camaraderie, intimacy, all those things, and loneliness lived together in the same experience.
this blessing of loneliness was not really loneliness. Real loneliness was something unendurable. What one wanted when exhausted by the noise and impact of physical bodies was not no people but disembodied people; all those denizens of beloved books who could be taken to one's heart and put away again, in silence, and with no hurt feelings.
So this blessing of loneliness was not really loneliness. Real loneliness was something unendurable. What one wanted when exhausted by the noise and impact of physical bodies was not no people but disembodied people; all those denizens of beloved books who could be taken to one's heart and put away again, in silence, and with no hurt feelings.
Loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. It is a condition of separateness. Solitude is becoming one with the space around you. It is a condition of union. Loneliness is small, solitude is large. Loneliness closes in around you; solitude expands toward the infinite. Loneliness has its roots in words, in an internal conversation that nobody answers; solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity.
Usually we regard loneliness as an enemy. Heartache is not something we choose to invite in. It's restless and pregnant and hot with the desire to escape and find something or someone to keep us company. When we can rest in the middle, we begin to have a nonthreatening relationship with loneliness, a relaxing and cooling loneliness that completely turns our usual fearful patterns upside down.
The Loneliness One dare not sound -- And would as soon surmise AS in its Grave go plumbing To ascertain the size -- The Loneliness whose worst alarm Is lest itself should see -- And perish from before itself For just a scrutiny -- The Horror not to be surveyed -- But skirted in the Dark -- With Consciousness suspended -- And Being under Lock -- I fear me this -- is Loneliness -- The Maker of the soul Its Caverns and its Corridors Illuminate -- or seal
Loneliness has little to do with what we do or where we do it, whether we're married or unmarried, optimists or pessimists, heterosexual or homosexual. Loneliness has to do with the sudden clefts we experience in every human relation, the gaps that open up with such stomach-turning unexpectedness. In a brief moment, I and my brother or sister have moved away into different worlds, and there is no language we can share.... It is in the middle of intimacy that the reality of loneliness most dramatically appears.
For I'm afraid of loneliness; shiveringly, terribly afraid. I don't mean the ordinary physical loneliness, for here I am, deliberately travelled away from London to get to it, to its spaciousness and healing. I mean that awful loneliness of spirit that is the ultimate tragedy of life. When you've got to that, really reached it, without hope, without escape, you die. You just can't bear it, and you die.
Elizabeth von Arnim
When we feel lonely we keep looking for a person or persons who can take our loneliness away. Our lonely hearts cry out, 'Please hold me, touch me, speak to me, pay attention to me.' But soon we discover that the person we expect to take our loneliness away cannot give us what we ask for. Often that person feels oppressed by our demands and runs away, leaving us in despair. As long as we approach another person from our loneliness, no mature human relationship can develop. Clinging to one another in loneliness is suffocating and eventually becomes destructive. For love to be possible we need the courage to create space between us and to trust that this space allows us to dance together.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Fiction is one of the few experiences where loneliness can be both confronted and relieved. Drugs, movies where stuff blows up, loud parties - all these chase away loneliness by making me forget my name's Dave and I live in a one-by-one box of bone no other party can penetrate or know. Fiction, poetry, music, really deep serious sex, and, in various ways, religion - these are the places (for me) where loneliness is countenanced, stared down, transfigured, treated.
David Foster Wallace
Loneliness is the inability to share your story, your Unique Self story. For most people, the move beyond loneliness requires us to share our story with a significant other. For the spiritual elite, the receiving of our own story - and the knowing that it is an integral part of the larger story of All-That-Is - is enough. But for most human beings, loneliness is transcended through contact with another person.
SOLIDAO, LONELINESS. What is it that we call loneliness. It can't simply be the absence of others, you can be alone and not lonely, and you can be among people and yet be lonely. So what is it? ... it isn't only that others are there, that they fill up the space next to us. But even when they celebrate us or give advice in a friendly conversation, clever, sensitive advice: even then we can be lonely. So loneliness is not something simply connected with the presence of others or with what they do. Then what? What on earth?
All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community. Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when we ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.
Henri J.M. Nouwen
A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn't catch up to him, the best reason I ever heard for trying to be a champion. What I wonder tonight pedaling hard down King William Street is if it translates to bicycles. A victory! To leave your loneliness panting behind you on some street corner while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas, pink petals that have never felt loneliness, no matter how slowly they fell.
Naomi Shihab Nye
The Rider A boy told me if he roller-skated fast enough his loneliness couldn't catch up to him, the best reason I ever heard for trying to be a champion. What I wonder tonight pedaling hard down King William Street is if it translates to bicycles. A victory! To leave your loneliness panting behind you on some street corner while you float free into a cloud of sudden azaleas, pink petals that have never felt loneliness, no matter how slowly they fell.
Naomi Shihab Nye
When Christ said: I was hungry and you fed me, he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger.
I am a lonely man, " he said again that evening. "And is it not possible that you are also a lonely person? But I am an older man, and I can live with my loneliness, quietly. You are young, and it must be difficult to accept your loneliness. You must sometimes want to fight it." "But I am not at all lonely." "Youth is the loneliest time of all. Otherwise, why should you come so often to my house?" Sensei continued: "But surely, when you are with me, you cannot rid yourself of your loneliness. I have not it in me to help you forget it. You will have to look elsewhere for the consolation you seek. And soon, you will find that you no longer want to visit me." As he said this, Sensei smiled sadly.
Many people are afraid of Emptiness, however, because it reminds them of Loneliness. Everything has to be filled in, it seems-appointment books, hillsides, vacant lots-but when all the spaces are filled, the Loneliness really begins. Then the Groups are joined, the Classes are signed up for, and the Gift-to-Yourself items are bought. When the Loneliness starts creeping in the door, the Television Set is turned on to make it go away. But it doesn't go away. So some of us do instead, and after discarding the emptiness of the Big Congested Mess, we discover the fullness of Nothing.
Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggressionat our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideals of who we think weought to be, or who we think we want to be, or who we think other peoplethink we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directlywith compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat andheartache, no punishment.
She'd been cross so much of the time and often about small things. Looking back at herself, she thought that her crossness was like a shapeless overcoat, covering loneliness, and it wasn't the old loneliness she'd felt after her mother died, or even an adult version of it, but something different and more punishing.
I am going to give you a piece of advice... advice I wish I'd been told in guidance class back in high school, in between the don't-do-acid and don't-drink-and-drive films. I wish our counselors had told us, 'When you grow older a dreadful, horrible sensation will come over you. It's called loneliness, and you think you know what it is now, but you don't. Here is the list of the symptoms, and don't worry""loneliness is the most universal sensation on the planet. Just remember one fact""loneliness will pass. You will survive and you will be a better human for it.
After listening to a lot of these stories, I began to think that American loneliness is a completely different creature from anything we experience in this country, and it made me glad I was born Japanese. The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different from the sort you know you'll get through if you just hang in there.
If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is... an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness... you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU.
One of the oldest aches in the bones of humanity is loneliness. I mean it's one of the things that goes way back; loneliness is not good for the world. And so, whoever you are, gay or straight, it is totally normal, natural, and healthy to want somebody to go through life with. It's central to our humanity.
There are degrees of loneliness, ways in which the experience of loneliness deepens, becomes something like what we might call a way of life. This way of life is both what is most damaging to us as a culture, and, paradoxically, contributes to its richness. It may in the end be our lasting contribution to the life of our planet.
Thomas L. Dumm
He prayed for the recovery of that inward privacy which the purpose of his vigil demanded that he seek: a clean parchment of the spirit whereon the words of a summons might be written in his solitude-if that other Immensurable Loneliness which was God stretched forth Its hand to touch his own tiny human loneliness and to mark his vocation there.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
And loneliness. I should say something of loneliness. The panic, the sweeping hysteria that comes not when you are without others, but when you are without yourself, adrift. I should describe the filthy province of mind, the blighted district inside, the place so crowded you cannot raise the eyelids of your eyes. Your shoulders are drawn and your head has fallen and your chest is bruised by the constant assault of your heart.
Hilary Thayer Hamann
And loneliness. I should say something of loneliness. The panic, the sweeping hysteria that comes not when you are without others, but when you are without yourself, adrift. I should describe the filthy province of mind, the blighted district inside, the place so crowded you cannot raise the lids of your eyes. Your shoulders are drawn and your head has fallen and your chest is bruised by the constant assault of your heart. (p. 37)
Hilary Thayer Hamann
Any decent society must generate a feeling of community. Community offsets loneliness. It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging. Yet today the institutions on which community depends are crumbling in all the techno-societies. The result is a spreading plague of loneliness.
A lonely, quiet person has observations and experiences that are at once both more indistinct and more penetrating than those of one more gregarious; his thoughts are weightier, stranger, and never without a tinge of sadness... Loneliness fosters that which is original, daringly and bewilderingly beautiful, poetic. But loneliness also fosters that which is perverse, incongruous, absurd, forbidden.
A lonely, quiet person has observations and experiences that are at once both more indistinct and more penetrating than those of one more gregarious; his thoughts are weightier, stranger, and never without a tinge of sadness. . . . Loneliness fosters that which is original, daringly and bewilderingly beautiful, poetic. But loneliness also fosters that which is perverse, incongruous, absurd, forbidden.
How is it that some celebrities, whom the average person would believe to have all the popularity a human being could want, still admit to feeling lonely? It is quite naive to assume that popularity is the remedy for loneliness. Loneliness does not necessarily equal physical solitude, it is the inability to be oneself and rightfully represented as oneself.
One of the reasons why we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.
Gregory David Roberts
Accept your loneliness. It is one stage, and only one stage, on a journey that brings you to God. It will not always last. Offer up your loneliness to God, as the little boy offered to Jesus his five loaves and two fishes. God can transform it for the good of others. Above all, do something for somebody else!
But even so, every now and then I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drink, the very air I breathe, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at four o'clock in the morning.
Do you think you can cause something to happen just from wanting it so much?' she asked. 'I don't get what you mean. Does this have to do with your dad?' asked Frannie. 'Not really. I'm talking about loneliness.' Frannie turned around and considered her answer. For awhile she seemed to be in a wilderness of her own. 'Do you mean that you imagined that Issy was your friend?' 'Yes, so completely that it was real.' 'Oh, that can happen. I believe that totally. Loneliness is powerful.
And if I am comfortable with it, why do I still call it loneliness? Because-and I think somehow she would understand this-you can have and recognize a sadness in your alienation and in other people's alienation and still not long to be around anyone. I think that if you wonder about other people's loneliness, or contemplate it at all, you've got a real leg up on being comfortable on your own.
The great loneliness- like the loneliness a caterpillar endures when she wraps herself in a silky shroud and begins the long transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. It seems we too must go through such a time, when life as we have known it is over- when being a caterpillar feels somehow false and yet we don't know who we are supposed to become. All we know is that something bigger is calling us to change. And though we must make the journey alone, and even if suffering is our only companion, soon enough we will become a butterfly, soon enough we will taste the rapture of being alive.
Until then I had always thought of loneliness as something negative-an absence of company, and, of course, something temporary... That day I had learned that it was much more. It was something which could press and oppress, could distort the ordinary and play tricks with the mind. Something which lurked inimically all around, stretching the nerves and twanging them with alarms, never letting one forget that there was no one to help, no one to care. It showed one as an atom adrift in vastness, and it waited all the time its chance to frighten and frighten horribly-that was what loneliness was really trying to do; and that was what one must never let it do...
Loneliness is the fundamental force that urgees mystics to a deeper union with God... An experience of God quenches this thirst for the absolute but at the same time, paradoxiacally, whets it, because this is an experience that can never be total; by necessity, the knowledge of God is always partial. So loneliness opens up mystics to a desire to love each other and every human being as God loves them.
He was lonely because he could imagine himself as anything but himself and as anywhere but where he was. His competitiveness and self-centeredness cut him off from any thought of shared life. He wanted to have more because he thought that having more would make him able to live more, and he was lonely because he never thought of the sources, the places, where he was going to get what he wanted to have, or of what his having it might cost others. It was loneliness that sometimes even he felt; you could see it. A self-praiser has got to accept a big loneliness in order to accept a little credit.
In a taxi speeding uptown on the West Side Highway, I let my thoughts drift below the surface of the Hudson until it finally occurs to me that feelings fill the gaps created by the indirectness of experience. Though the experience is social, thoughts carry it into a singular space and it is this that causes the feelings of loneliness; or it is this that collides the feeling with the experience so that what is left is the solitude called loneliness.
...We leave our homeland, our property and our friends. We give up the familiar ground that supports our ego, admit the helplessness of ego to control its world and secure itself. We give up our clingings to superiority and self-preservation...It means giving up searching for a home, becoming a refugee, a lonely person who must depend on himself...Fundamentally, no one can help us. If we seek to relieve our loneliness, we will be distracted from the path. Instead, we must make a relationship with loneliness until it becomes aloneness.
You can live a lifetime and, at the end of it, know more about other people than you know about yourself. You learn to watch other people, but you never watch yourself because you strive against loneliness. If you read a book, or shuffle a deck of cards, or care for a dog, you are avoiding yourself. The abhorrence of loneliness is as natural as wanting to live at all. If it were otherwise, men would never have bothered to make an alphabet, nor to have fashioned words out of what were only animal sounds, nor to have crossed continents - each man to see what the other looked like.
God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in its appalling self-consciousness is horrible and overpowering.
We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place. We stay there even though we go away and there are things in us we can find again only by going back there. We travel to ourselves when we go to a place. We have covered a stretch of our life no matter how brief it may have been but by traveling to ourselves we must confront our own loneliness. And isn't it so that everything we do is done out of fear of our loneliness? Isn't that why we renounce all the things we will regret at the end of our life?
I was lonely, deadly lonely. And I was to find out then, as I found out so many times, over and over again, that women especially are social beings, who are not content with just husband and family, but must have a community, a group, an exchange with others. Young and old, even in the busiest years of our lives, we women especially are victims of the long loneliness. It was years before I woke up without that longing for a face pressed against my breast, an arm about my shoulder. The sense of loss was there. I never was so unhappy, never felt so great the sense of loneliness. No matter how many times I gave up mother, father, husband, brother, daughter, for His sake, I had to do it over again. Tamar is partly responsible for the title of this book in that when I was beginning it she was writing me about how alone a mother of young children always is. I had also just heard from an old woman who lived a long and full life, and she too spoke of her loneliness
Loneliness is the human condition. Cultivate it. The way it tunnels into you allows your soul room to grow. Never expect to outgrow loneliness. Never hope to find people who will understand you, someone to fill that space. If you expect to find people who will understand you, you will grow murderous with disappointment.
Those touchy mediocrities who sit trembling lest someone's work prove greater than their own - they have no inkling of the loneliness that comes when you reach the top. The loneliness for an equal - for a mind to respect and an achievement to admire... They envy achievement, and their dream of greatness is a world where all men have become their acknowledged inferiors. They don't know that that dream is the infallible proof of mediocrity, because that sort of world is what the man of achievement would not be able to bear.
All of us are lonely at some point or another, no matter how many people surround us. And then, we meet someone who seems to understand. She smiles, and for a moment the loneliness disappears. Add to that the effects of physical desire-and the excitement you spoke of-and all good sense and judgement fall away. The Rabbi paused, then said, But love founded only on loneliness and desire will die out before long. A shared history, tradition and values will link two people more thoroughly than any physical act.