A friend recently sent me the following quote by Henri Nouwen.
Solitude is the garden for our hearts, which yearn for love. It is the place where our aloneness can bear fruit. It is the home for our restless bodies and anxious minds. Solitude, whether it is connected with a physical space or not, is essential for our spiritual lives. It is not an easy place to be, since we are so insecure and fearful that we are easily distracted by whatever promises immediate satisfaction. Solitude is not immediately satisfying, because in solitude we meet our demons, our addictions, our feelings of lust and anger, and our immense need for recognition and approval. But if we do not run away, we will meet there also the One who says, “Do not be afraid. I am with you, and I will guide you through the valley of darkness.”
Yes. I think he got it right. My loneliness is so terrifying because in times of solitude it makes me recognize those demons which are highlighted in green above. Often I let those demons overcome my knowledge that I have many people in my life who love me well, I have the amazing privilege of being present with beautiful souls in painful and dark times, and I hold the hand of One who says, ‘I am with you always, what have you to fear?’