Solitude does not equal loneliness. Although, for many of you, the two words mean the same. Your modern world generally shuns solitude. If you're not a social butterfly, there must be something wrong with you.
It's quite the other way around -- a society, a world who do not understand or value solitude do not understand themselves. We know many of you reading this often crave solitude, some "alone" time. But do you take it? And, if you do, do you feel guilty about it?
The most valuable time you will ever spend in this lifetime, friends, is the time you spend alone. But not only the time you spend alone -- but the time you enjoy spending alone. All of you, no exceptions, need this time alone. Yet many of you deprive yourselves of it. And everything and everyone in your lives suffer as a result.
You cannot be in and of the world in any positive, productive way unless you are willing to take the time to also be apart from the world. You don't have to divorce the world. In fact, that would not suit most of you. But you do have to take the time regularly to be alone in joyful solitude.
You all probably know someone who seems to need constant interaction with other people. Maybe that someone is you. And if that someone doesn't have another person there, he/she turns on the television, or the radio, or the computer.
It's almost as if you're scared to death of yourselves. Solitude has become a lost art. Solitude is good, friends. We're not telling you to abandon your responsibilities to others. But we are telling you to honor your responsibility to yourselves.
If you are not able to be fully present in the moment with only yourselves -- and feel good about it -- you're probably not able to be fully present with others. Including the divine energy you came from.
It all starts at home, within yourselves. Alone and in solitude