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We use the two terms interchangeably because we’ve been conditioned to think of them as the same state.
Loneliness is being alone — and not liking it. It’s a feeling. Solitude is being alone — and content. It’s a choice. If you can master solitude, you’ll never feel lonely again.
From the telegram to the phone to the mobile to the internet, all major cultural inventions have served the same purpose: to bring us closer together.
Today, we’ve reached peak hyper-connectivity. We can cross oceans at the touch of the button, speak to someone, anywhere, 24/7. And yet, statistics report that we’ve never felt so lonely. The technologies connecting us are isolating us.
You can be surrounded by people, at a party, or in the office, and still feel lonely to your core.
And you can be alone, millions of miles away from any human contact, and still feel joyfully connected to the world.
It’s less about our circumstances, more about how we react to them.
Real solitude is almost impossible to experience in the modern world. And for some, this makes it the ultimate privilege.
Some people know they can harness times of stillness to find answers to questions, solutions to problems.
Solitude deprives you. It stretches you. It illuminates. And this breeds creativity.
The only way to overcome solitude is to face it. Ease yourself in, with 10 minutes, then 20, then 30, of solitude a day, or week, or month.
There’s great power in doing nothing at all. But when you find strength — rather than fear — in solitude, you will live a far richer life: with others, and with ourselves.
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The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.
As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.