Writings on Solitude / Aloneness / Loneliness

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Writings on Solitude / Aloneness / Loneliness
« on: January 25, 2020, 02:11:56 PM »
I have grappled for years around loneliness. Like many of us on this forum, loneliness has been a very faithful true friend of mine for many years. Reading the posts on this forum, I have the feeling that some of the authors and their writings that I have found useful may also be of help to others. Here I share some of them, and may they serve as a cooling balm at times of need.

John O'Donohue was an Irish priest who was a contemplative and was heavily influenced by Celtic spirituality. My favorite book is "To Bless the Space Between Us". It's filled with, what he called blessings, or short poems that I have found to be sources of strength and inspiration. I start every day with the Blessing of Solitude:


From his book "Eternal Echoes":

Each one of us is alone in the world. It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness. Most of the activity in society is subconsciously designed to quell the voice crying in the wilderness within you. The mystic Thomas a Kempis said that when you go out into the world, you return having lost some of yourself. Until you learn to inhabit your aloneness, the lonely distraction and noise of society will seduce you into false belonging, with which you will only become empty and weary. When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen. Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging. This is a slow and open-ended transition but it is utterly vital in order to come into rhythm with your own individuality. In a sense this is the endless task of finding your true home within your life. It is not narcissistic, for as soon as you rest in the house of your own heart, doors and windows begin to open outwards to the world. No longer on the run from your aloneness, your connections with others become real and creative. You no longer need to covertly scrape affirmation from others or from projects outside yourself. This is slow work; it takes years to bring your mind home.

Then, there are these words from my great friend Tom Yeomans; words that made me feel seen for the first time many years ago, and still ring true today:



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Re: Writings on Solitude / Aloneness / Loneliness
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2020, 04:00:51 PM »
These are terrific reflections on a topic applicable to many on this forum, I suspect. Outlooks like those of O'Donohue and Yeomans speak well to the core of loneliness that seems rampant in dealing with cptsd.

Personally, I actually chose a deep loneliness as part of my survival and/or escape from a very abusive early life. I literally moved to a remote region while retaining a limited semi-social existence via connections to artistic/educational endeavours.

While my own wandering in loneliness is a long tale, I just want to thank you for these links, Arale. O'donohue I was familiar with and his books are superb for their depth of feeling and heartfelt, beautifully crafted descriptions derived from his inner observations. Yeomans I wasn't familiar with, but found his perspective wonderfully relevant as well.

Thanks again.