The Gift of Solitude

solitudeLanguage… 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 Johannes Tillich

Today I’ve had the gift of solitude; a day all to myself; a day for writing, for long walks in the woods, for reading, and for refueling. As a single mom, I came face to face with being alone the first time my boys went to stay with their dad for a weekend.  I remember dreading that time, filling my days with one social engagement after another. But as time went by, I came to love those weekends on my own, gradually carving out longer and longer periods for myself, learning to revel in the solitude. In the silence and the stillness, I could find my center. I would return to the busyness of family life feeling calm, balanced, recharged.

These days, our home is rarely empty, and so this day on my own has felt especially indulgent. I’ve luxuriated in the space, in the freedom to do exactly as I please, in the absolute silence. My sense of balance and calm are restored. And I’ll be ready to welcome everyone back when they return.


How do you restore a sense of calm in your life?


About Sally

Poet, seeker, author, mom. Celebrating the beauty and mystery that surrounds us and learning to trust in the journey.
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19 Responses to The Gift of Solitude

  1. kingmidget says:

    How do I restore a sense of calm in my life? By taking as many opportunities for solitude as I can and when I have them by filling that time with walks and photographs and thinking about peace and quiet.

  2. Bowrag says:

    Im still getting used to my alone time. Today was one of them.

    • It’s funny: when I’m on my own, I rarely have music playing. I like it to be really, really quiet. That might be because with all those boys underfoot, it’s rarely quiet around my place! But like you, I always turn to books. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. Denise Hisey says:

    Reading, writing, walking, playing with the dog…

  4. Walking the dogs usually does it for me. Today I am actually taking a restorative yoga class…we’ll see how that goes.

  5. Jerry says:

    I can find solitude difficult 🙂

  6. karenflello says:

    I used to find being alone difficult, and even now, when I think about it in advance, it sometimes makes me anxious because feels like it will be a loneliness experience. Lately, though, it does feel more like solitude, and it is something I find I occasionally need now. That is new, and something I want to explore. But I can say that books are definitely part of what makes alone time solitude rather than loneliness.

    • I’m sorry! I thought I replied to you earlier this week! I really like that you’re exploring the idea of solitude. It is a completely different experience than loneliness. (And reading is a great way to safely access the experience!)

  7. Cayman Thorn says:

    I met solitude in waves. The first round was red wine and Radiohead. That…didn’t work out so well. So I went with pizza and Coke on the next round of doing things. The cat is never gonna let me live that one down.

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