I was once in a workshop with Bo Forbes where she compared the experience of sitting in your own quiet presence with walking into a vast, open cathedral hall. There's silence or soft echoes. A hollow, expansive space holding the sacred & peaceful residue of awareness...
This image has always stayed with me. I love how we use language to express emotional & energetic ideas. As I sit with these words now, they define the difference between loneliness & solitude.
Loneliness happens. I remember times when I wasn't living alone, but felt very lonely. It was an internal loneliness. I remember not wanting to take long car rides, even to visit dear friends, because I didn't want to be alone with myself for any extended duration of time. Alone with my mind. Its an awful thing to not enjoy your own company. Loneliness is tied to fear, self-worth & self-love. And its okay. Its a transitory experience until the light reappears.
Solitude is different. Becoming deeply established in your own presence can bring its own delights, clarity & peace. My yoga practice connects me to this happy withdrawal. I was very afraid to live alone for a while, but my evenings with myself are in fact very satisfying.
"You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer