There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. In both cases, there is this sense of being alone, but the attitude and perspective of each is the difference.
Loneliness is that sense of being alone that is negative. Loneliness makes you wish that you were with people. Loneliness feels bad. Loneliness brings up the lies that you believe – but you don’t necessarily know that they’re lies. Loneliness fills you mind with thoughts – thoughts that make you think or make you feel that no one else understands or knows what you’re going through. Loneliness hurts. Loneliness makes you think about why your friends didn’t invite you to hang out with them. Loneliness makes you retreat and hide.
Solitude is different in that solitude is refreshing. Solitude is safe. Solitude gives you energy. Solitude is intentional alone time – where you are by yourself on purpose – for a reason. Solitude strengthens you. Solitude makes you long for community. In solitude, you learn how to feel better about yourself. In solitude, you work on your self-confidence and your self-concept. Solitude juat makes you feel better.
You might have noticed that I said that it is a “sense of being alone.” You can experience loneliness in a crowd. You can feel lonely in the middle of a hundred people. You can experience solitude in corporate worship.
Are you alone? It’s not a bad thing. What goes on when you’re alone – therein lies the difference. Are you lonely or are you in solitude?