On Being Alone

“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

I am sitting outside the yoga studio enjoying a moment of solitude. It feels really good after a busy week.That makes me think I need to make more of an effort to plan time to think and pray and dream and read and write into my days, to accept that I don’t have to wait until I am organized, the laundry is done, or the myriad items on my to-do list are checked off.

On the other side of being alone, I experienced an overwhelming sense of loneliness during the noon Mass on Ash Wednesday. It was very strange, because my parish church is a place where I feel like I belong — the pastor even addressed me by name during the homily! But it got me thinking about people who feel alone, and that I might be surprised at who they are, so I am recommitting myself to radical hospitality, to being warm and welcoming, no matter how I feel or if I think the person in front of me needs my hospitality or not.

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3 Responses to “On Being Alone”

  1. Laura Says:

    Now this makes me feel really bad for ditching you for Mass!

  2. caryl Says:

    it makes me sad to think of you feeling alone….i do think you are right that we would be surprised by those who feel that lonliness.
    i think the idea of solitude is something i have only begun to appreciate and hope to explore a bit.

  3. Chris Says:

    I love this quote! And that you’re thinking about working more solitude into your life. And that you can find the gift in loneliness … looking for ways to help others through theirs. You’ve always helped me through my lonely times!

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