This is a wonderful book about a topic very few of us like to talk about: loneliness. Yet, given our tech-oriented culture. we seem lonelier than every before. So, I think this book should be read by every one, young and old.
Loneliness is something that plagues us all. To be human is to be lonely from time to time. It’s when we’re lonely all the time that we can experience real problems. According to Ronald Rolheiser, sensitive people are much more lonely that ever. But restless people are also very lonely. Loneliness stems from our psychological structure as human beings. Our world seems to be heading into a psychic crisis.
Loneliness can be a great opportunity for growth. But we have to be careful not to become too lonely. Loneliness can be paralyzing if we don’t keep a balanced point of view.
It seems that our restless hearts push us in too many different directions simultaneously. Because of our loneliness some of us cannot become aware of this moment. Neither can we feel each other’s real presence. Life passes us by without our seeing the beauty and richness of life.
Our loneliness can prevent us from any type of creative solitude too. This can result in an inability to achieve inner depth. Our loneliness keeps us in perpetual motion, not ever daring to turn inward.
I have found that people rush from place to place, doing so many different things. They are restless and unconscious and many believe that this is one way of relieving loneliness. yet, they seem lonelier than ever. They try to further deal with it through drugs, alcohol, shopping, being plugged in constantly, and other obsessive actions that only create more desperation. How strange that we aren’t able to handle our loneliness creatively.
But like Ronald, I also believe that loneliness can be a creative force in our lives. When I lived on my own in a big city for over eleven years, I really learned to love my solitude. I was able to read and think on my own, and do all kinds of things there. I pursued a university degree and completed an MA. Then I moved on to complete my doctorate. How great to just be able to be alone. Now that I am married, I still crave and miss my solitude and those blissful days of singleness. So, I try to crate such times of solitude even now because I love it so much.
So, this is our challenge as human beings: to make our alone time a creative force in our lives. We could all do this with a bit of effort and practice. But once we discover the bliss of solitude, our aloneness will never plague us again but instead we’ll look forward to being alone.
I loved this book from beginning to end. Thank you Ronald for such a GREAT book!
Rating: 5+ Stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth