I remember the experience of profound loneliness. At the time I was living in a 10th floor condominium in my hometown of Minneapolis with a beautiful view of one of the famous city lakes. A fully furnished bachelor pad complete with a black leather couch and to top it off a fiery red VW Jetta.
On the outside I had it all. On the inside, as I was sitting on my black leather couch one evening many years ago I had an overwhelming feeling, a painful sense of loneliness.
Everything I had done up to that point I tried to escape that feeling focusing outward on material possessions and a well-paying job. Yet this depth of loneliness touched my inner most being. In that moment on the couch I had nowhere to run or hide. It was right then then and there the realization of my life. I had not spent any amount of time working on my inside life. But on some level I was ready for what would be a transcendent experience.
Unbeknownst to me at the time I would begin working on the inside. Had I knew what was in store in advance I am not sure I would have undertaken such a rigorous through examination of my life. In hindsight, like so many difficult and terrifying experiences it was one of the best things to have ever happened.
You see that realization of loneliness, there would be nobody else to take care of what I need to take care of on the inside. It is a terrifying feeling not knowing what to do with this newfound information. As both powerful and intangible as it was, had this not happened I would not have never begun on the path of a spiritual and creative life. I would never have been willing to take the risks I have taken thus far in life. I would never have been able to be fully comfortable in my skin not giving a damn about what others think.
The feeling of soul crushing loneliness is a necessary catalyst to propel one into the world of the not knowing, caring less and the ability to live and be in solitude for extended periods of time. This was necessary to lead me to the kind of person I continue to become.
Since that day in the condominium I have never had that same feeling ever again, not even close. In fact, I have only on a few occasions felt a sense of loneliness. And even then it was fleeting. I am so comfortable being alone in solitude it scares me sometimes.
I have never felt I needed to go from one relationship to another or that somehow a relationship helps fill that void of loneliness. I have never had to have so many friends or always be doing something to stay constantly busy so as not to feel lonely.
No, I love solitude and yet not that I prefer just that either. But when life offers the chance to do something on my own, I do it. Go for a run, bike ride. I love being in the bike saddle alone for hours at a time. And yet I also like to run and cycle with others. And I know relationships are pretty much a part of life.
Solitude balances life.