Solitude, being alone with one’s self, can be time for reflection and recharge, or it can be a time of loneliness. See what some writers and others have said about Solitude.

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I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

— Albert Einstein

[M]y consciousness of belonging to the invisible community of those who strive for truth, beauty, and justice has preserved me from feeling isolated.

— Albert Einstein

Not only does democracy make every man forget his ancestors, but also clouds their view of their descendants and isolates them from their contemporaries. Each man is for ever thrown back on himself alone, and there is danger that he may be shut up in the solitude of his own heart.

— Alexis de Tocqueville

Community offsets loneliness. It gives people a vitally necessary sense of belonging.

— Alvin Toffler

BATH, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.

— Ambrose Bierce

Our uniqueness makes us special, makes perception valuable – but it can also make us lonely. This loneliness is different from being ‘alone’: You can be lonely even surrounded by people. The feeling I’m talking about stems from the sense that we can never fully share the truth of who we are. I experienced this acutely at an early age.

— Amy Tan

Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.

— Anaïs Nin

Instead of planting our solitude with our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter, and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is not inner music to take its place.

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.

— Barbara De Angelis

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.

— bell hooks

There’s one thing worse than being alone: wishing you were.

— Bob Steele

Swimming is the trifecta for me—exercise, meditation, and alone time. When I’m swimming laps you can’t call me or talk to me, it’s just me and the black stripe. The only thing that can ruin a swim is when I shift my attention from my lane to what’s happening in the lanes next to me. It’s embarrassing, but if I’m not paying attention, I can catch myself racing the person next to me, or comparing our strokes, or figuring out who has the best workout set. When I go into comparison, I completely lose the meditation and alone time I need. And I once hurt my shoulder trying to race a twentysomething triathlete in the next lane.

— Brené Brown

We are born helpless. as soon as we are fully conscious we discover loneliness. we need others physically, emotionally, and intellectually. we need them if we are to know anything, even ourselves.

— C. S. Lewis

Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

— Carl Jung

Loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you.

— Carl Jung

The moon is a friend for the lonesome to talk to.

— Carl Sandburg

Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, to feel alone or want to be alone is deeply unfashionable: to admit to feeling alone is to reject and betray others, as if they are not good company, and do not have entertaining, interesting lives of their own to distract us, and to actually seek to be alone is a radical act; to want to be alone is to refuse a certain kind of conversational hospitality and to turn to another door, and another kind of welcome, not necessarily defined by human vocabulary.

— David Whyte

Whoever cannot be alone should beware of community. Such people will only do harm to themselves and to the community…. But the reverse is also true. Whoever cannot stand being in community should beware of being alone.

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.

— Dorothy Day

A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.

— Douglas MacArthur

When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death—ourselves.

— Eda Leshan

Leadership through self-differentiation is not easy; learning techniques and imbibing data are far easier. Nor is striving or achieving success as a leader without pain: there is the pain of isolation, the pain of loneliness, the pain of personal attacks, the pain of losing friends. That’s what leadership is all about.

— Edwin H. Friedman, A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix

For one who is indifferent, life itself is a prison. Any sense of community is external or, even worse, nonexistent. Thus, indifference means solitude. Those who are indifferent do not see others. They feel nothing for others and are unconcerned with what might happen to them. They are surrounded by a great emptiness. Filled by it, in fact. They are devoid of all hope as well as imagination. In other words, devoid of any future.

— Elie Wiesel

Whenever I am unable to walk, climb or sail away from the world, I have learned to shut it out. Learning this took time. Only when I understood that I had a primal need for silence was I able to begin my search for it – and there, deep beneath a cacophony of traffic noise and thoughts, music and machinery, iPhones and snow ploughs, it lay in wait for me. Silence.

— Erling Kagge

If it could only be like this always – always summer, always alone, the fruit always ripe…

— Evelyn Waugh

The worst solitude is to be destitute of sincere friendship.

— Francis Bacon

My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

The loneliest woman in the world is a woman without a close woman friend.

— George Santayana

Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate.

— Germaine Greer

Most women still need a room of their own and the only way to find it may be outside their own home.

— Germaine Greer

When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.

— Gertrude Stein

When they are alone they want to be with others, and when they are with others they want to be alone. After all, human beings are like that.

— Gertrude Stein

Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.

— Gretchen Rubin

We don’t need sugar, flour or rice or anything else. We just want to see our dear ones.

— Hafiz of Persia

…love from one being to another can only be that two solitudes come nearer, recognize and protect and comfort each other.

— Han Suyin [Elizabeth Comber]

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

— Helen Keller

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

— Henry David Thoreau

Why should I feel lonely? Is not our planet in the Milky Way?

— Henry David Thoreau

We cannot confront solitude without moral resources.

— Honoré de Balzac

If you are lonely when you’re alone you are in a bad company.

— Jean Paul Sartre

If you’re lonely when you are alone, you’re in bad company.

— Jean-Paul Sartre

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.

— Jessamyn West

Solitude is a good place to visit but a poor place to stay.

— Josh Billing

You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.

— Kahlil Gibran

Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things.

— Kahlil Gibran

Solitude is essentially the discovery and acceptance of our uniqueness.

— Lawrence Freeman
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