Solitude Is Not Loneliness

They are both about being alone, but the difference is a state of mind.

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According to merriam-webster.com:
Solitude (noun) is “a state or situation in which you are alone usually because you want to be.”

It defines
Lonely (adjective) as being “sad from being apart from other people.”

Language… has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.
– Paul Tillich

Here are what some people, including a genius or two, have to say about the glory of being alone.

“Without great solitude no serious work is possible.”
– Pablo Picasso

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
– Albert Einstein

“The best thinking has been done in solitude.”
– Thomas Edison

In these times of rapid social changes, we can easily get detached and lonely, despite gadgets (and sometimes because of them) that are supposed to help us connect with others. As Henry David Thoreau said, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

In the song “Message in a Bottle,” Sting wrote of “a hundred billion bottles” with messages washed ashore and concluded “Seems I’m not alone at being alone, hundred billion castaways, looking for a home.”

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Perhaps we should pay more attention to Solitude. In the silence, hear our inner voice, find our way when we feel we are lost, see and appreciate the poetry in the universe.

Solitude. What separates it from Loneliness is a State of Mind.

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25 thoughts on “Solitude Is Not Loneliness

  1. Loved this. Expresses for me so much I struggle to say. Just wrote Badfish a long thing about it. And I don’t hear Sting but somewhere in the background is Jesse Colin Young singing Ridgetop. Hmm, maybe I’m still fighting too hard for external solitude and will now focus on the state of mind. Dang. I knew that. Thanks. I forgot.

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    1. Ridgetop is such a great classic song, could be a perfect soundtrack. It does help for us to sometimes step back and see where we are, whether on a ridgetop physically or in our mind. Thanks for the comment!

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    1. Yes, it’s strange that with all the technology around, we are becoming more busy instead of having more time for ourselves. We really have to find time for “cocooning” occasionally.
      Thank you for dropping a line!

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    1. 🙂 Your post on life in Aspen is resonating with a lot of people. There must be something people today are looking for… Thanks for sharing your stories. Am one of those waiting for part 2!

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      1. Nesfelicio, Yeah, I don’t know exactly what it is, but everyone has a past, and maybe it’s good sometimes to really think about it…in a good way.Thanks for hanging out here and joining the comments.

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  2. A very astute post! I often travel alone but this doesn’t mean I feel lonely! People often ask. I have used you post as inspiration for post number #130 my “photo a day” blog “You Inspire Me” I have linked it back to you. I hope you like it!

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  3. Keep coming back to your post. Very inspiring! I am doing the photo 101 course through The Daily post and today’s theme is solitude. I have mentioned your post to my classmates!

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