Solitude is, for me, food and medicine and air. It is not a separation, a removing: it is actually a movement of where there is a possibility to connect more deeply with the inner-space of people. I have always treasured it, but as I grow into my sixth decade, it blooms so much more powerfully within me. It is not merely “being alone,” and it is definitely not “being apart from others.” Solitude is the vein of inner-listening. It’s where my wholeness is most fully revealed to myself.
“The capacity to be alone is the capacity to love. It may look paradoxical to you, but it’s not. It is an existential truth: only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core of another person — without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without reducing the other to a thing, and without becoming addicted to the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because they know that if the other leaves, they will be as happy as they are now. Their happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other.”