“The cure for loneliness is solitude.”-Marianne Moore, The Complete Prose of Marianne Moore
This quote by Marianne Moore, an American poet born in 1887, and died in 1972. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book of poetry, “Collected Poems” in 1952.
I love this quote because something I have found over the past few years is that there is a subtle difference between solitude and loneliness.
What I have discovered is that the key difference is the perspective one has towards oneself and your circumstances. This is an important thing to know for an introvert who is recharged by extended periods of time alone.
The difference between solitude and loneliness has to do with one’s will. Solitude is a choice. It is a limited time to spend with oneself in order to know oneself and to come to a certain comfortability with being by oneself and not feeling like you are in exile. Loneliness is different. It is a succumbing to circumstances. It is a lack of will. It is a type of despairing about where you find yourself to be.
The reason that the cure for loneliness is solitude is because, while your circumstances may never change, your perspective and your outlook can change. You can choose to make the most of solitude, even if it is not something that you might enjoy. You can use the season to reflect on the world around you. After reflection, you can choose a new path, make a decision to change, and take agency over your future in moving forward.
Loneliness is a place where you feel imprisoned by the circumstances with no way out. Solitude will change that prison into a place of hope for what is to come.