We mistake solitude and aloneness with loneliness.  Our world is driven by a frenzy of activity designed to keep us from never experiencing the soul-required, much needed time by ourselves  - That crucial time that  frees us to settle into the fiercely neglected part of ourselves that results in a hollow chasm of a life, defined by things, activities, and doing, rather than by a connection to all that is important.  

Friends, who have no understanding of the nature of the inner world, worry that you are lonely, when it is the loneliness and emptiness of a vapid life that haunts them.  One told me that they leave the television on all the time for “company”….just softly in the background so as to be unobtrusive.  There is a fear that stepping into the world underneath the noise, leads to a place of losing your soul., when it is that quiet, alone place, that acquaints you with yourself and cradles you, as you arrive at a state of sacred peace and grace. 

I’m not prone to living in the past, but today am longing for the simplicity of life in another time. In my heart, I know that nothing is ever truly simple, but today my total being longs for a time without instant communication, the expectation of always being “on” and connected - A time when the gentleness of a day could unfold and sweet naiveté was the key to a heart filled with wonder and possibility. Is it any surprise that people now vacation in areas without any internet or cell communication in an attempt to get away from the demands that it all brings? Perhaps for once, I will move back in time a bit and be brazen enough to disconnect. The thought brings a smile to my face.

“Refuse to fall down.  If you cannot refuse to fall down, refuse to stay down, lift your heart toward heaven like a hungry beggar, ask that it be filled and it will be filled.  You may be pushed down, you may be kept from rising. But no one can keep you from lifting your heart towards heaven - only you.  It is in the middle of misery that so much becomes clear.  The one who says nothing good came of this is not yet listening.”

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes