Inhabiting Your Solitude

by John O'Donohue -

There is a lantern in the soul, which makes your solitude luminous. Solitude need not remain lonely. It can awaken to its luminous warmth.

The soul redeems and transfigures everything because the soul is the divine space.

When you inhabit your solitude fully and experience its outer extremes of isolation and abandonment, you will find that at its heart there is neither loneliness nor emptiness but intimacy and shelter.

In your solitude you are frequently nearer to the heart of belonging and kinship than you are in your social life or public world. At this level, memory is the great friend of solitude. The harvest of memory opens when solitude is ripe.

Your persona, beliefs and role are in reality a technique or strategy for getting through the daily routine. When you are on your own or when you wake in the middle of the night, the real knowing within you can surface. 

You come to feel the secret equilibrium of your soul. When you travel the inner distance and reach the divine, the outer distance vanishes.

Ironically, your trust in your inner belonging radically alters your outer belonging. Unless you find belonging in your solitude, your external longing will remain needy and driven. 

There is a wonderful welcome within.

Meister Eckhart illuminates this point. He says that there is a place in the soul that neither space nor time nor flesh can touch. This is the eternal place within us. 

It would be a lovely gift to yourself to go there often-to be nourished, strengthened and renewed. 

The deepest things that you need are not elsewhere. 

They are here and now in that circle of your own soul. Real friendship and holiness enable a person to frequently visit the hearth of his solitude.

excerpt from 'Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom'

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