TravelScapes | Cold Walk Along the Tiber River

 In Cityscapes, Travelscapes

“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”

Albert Einstein

Loneliness is something that has accompanied me for a long time. On the surface it might not seem to be the case, I do have my fair share of friends and people who came into my life. I used to be so afraid of loneliness when I was much younger and so I needed lots of friends around me to fulfill that gap, the problem is that I realized the more people there is, the lonelier I felt. I wasn’t sure what really happened during that time but I guess a lack of family love in my childhood life attributed to that feeling. Along the way, I didn’t realize that the feeling of loneliness has grown into something else—it has transformed into a feeling of solitude. They might seemed like the same thing but they are vastly different.

In a solitary state, there are no more gaps or void that needs to be filled. Here are two more quotes that attempts to explain the difference:

“Language… 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 Tillich

“Loneliness is the poverty of self; solitude is the richness of self.”
May Sarton

The main difference now is that I enjoy being alone, I am no longer afraid of being alone; it is like spending time with the closest friend you will ever have and discovering that friend can only be you. When you are not distracted by others, you will finally have time to accompany and understand yourself. This self-reflection time is needed to bring you to the next level in life and that next level is commonly known as self-actualization. That is not to say that I have problems loving another, on the contrary the more you learn to love yourself, the more you can love others.

When I was walking along the flooded river bracing against the torrential downpour that preceded this moment, there is a sense of silence and peace, irregardless of the chaos that is happening around me. It is a special feeling, it might be because I have started to love myself again and this self-respect deserves more importance than I ever knew. The only reason we are here is because of the love of the universe. Self-respect will be the way of reciprocating this love, in gratitude towards the energy that created us and for allowing us to experience this life in our own unique ways.

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