85 Original Solitude Quotes That Inspire And Spark Thought

Solitude isn’t a bad thing, and in fact can spark some of your most creative ideas, immense self-growth, and a deeper understanding of who you are.
Photograph Of Two Hands Resting Atop One Another In Heart Shape Over Chest While Holding Yellow Flower, Article Title Overlay

Solitude is the soul’s holiday, an opportunity to stop doing for others and to surprise and delight ourselves instead.

Katrina Kenison

Most of us are born into this world alone.

Solitude is a circumstance that feels quite singular, yet at the same time, it connects all of us at once.

It is a personal yet universal state of being that can feel both unifying and disconnecting all at once.

Solitude is not the same as loneliness, however. The former describes desired time spent alone, while the latter is usually isn’t a choice.

But solitude is not necessarily a “terrible” thing. In fact, it can be a source of uplifting inspiration.

In this article, we’ll share:

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our ongoing series The Roots Of Loneliness Project, the first-of-its-kind resource that comprehensively explores the phenomenon of loneliness and over 100 types that we might experience over the course of our lives.

Quotes About Solitude

We’ve all experienced solitude at one time or another and many people regularly seek time spent alone as a way to reconnect with themselves or gain new perspectives on life.

It is a common, yet personal journey for each of us.

To know that others share in the universal experience of solitude is a comforting connection we make with one another — even if it is largely unseen.

These quotes are reminders of the human experience — and the fact that although we may be in solitude, we are not alone.

1.

How sweet, how passing sweet, is solitude! But grant me still a friend in my retreat, whom I may whisper, solitude is sweet.

— William Cowper

2.

In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.

— Lawrence Sterne

3.

Solitude is a kind of freedom.

— Umberto Eco

4.

Deep solitude is sublime, but it has something fearful within.

— Immanuel Kant

5.

You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the space in between is trust and love.

— Louise Bourgeois

6.

The aloneness of which I speak is much more like the aloneness of birth or death.

— James Baldwin

7.

Solitude is a certain condition of a helpless man. For because a man is alone, he is not for that reason also solitary; just as though a man is among many people, he is not therefore not solitary.

— Epictetus

8.

Solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for…In the silence, we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves to ourselves, and in the quietude, we may even hear the voice of God.

— Maya Angelou

9.

The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.

— Gabriel Garcia Marquez

10.

Solitude is dangerous. It’s very addictive. It becomes a habit after you realize how peaceful and calm it is.

— Jim Carrey

11.

One whose chief regard is for his own mind, and for the divinity within him and the service of its goodness, will strike no poses, utter no complaints, and crave neither for solitude nor yet for a crowd. Best of all, his life will be free from continual pursuing and avoiding.

— Marcus Aurelius

12.

Haughtiness lives under the same roof with solitude.

— Plato

13.

Solitude is the great teacher, and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it.

— Deepak Chopra

14.

A multitude of people and yet a solitude.

— Charles Dickens

15.

Whoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.

— Aristotle

16.

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

— Albert Einstein

17.

Solitude is the place of purification.

— Martin Buber

18.

Ordinary men hate solitude. But the master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.

— Lao Tzu

19.

Solitude sometimes is best society.

— John Milton

20.

I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.

— Charlotte Brontë

21.

Reading is solitude.

— Italo Calvino

22.

Now, therefore, that my mind is free from all cares, and that I have obtained for myself assured leisure in peaceful solitude, I shall apply myself seriously and freely to the general destruction of all my former opinions.

— René Descartes

23.

The solitude was intoxicating.

— Tana French

24.

Solitude has its own very strange beauty to it.

— Liv Tyler

25.

Solitude is independence.

— Hermann Hesse

26.

One can be instructed in society, one is inspired only in solitude.

— Gothe

27.

In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.

— Leo Tolstoy

28.

The more you enjoy solitude, the simpler life becomes.

— Maxime Lagacé

29.

Sometimes the solitary voice can be the best one.

— Frank Miller

30.

There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall.

— Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

31.

That’s what fame is: solitude.

— Coco Chanel

32.

Concerning the factors of silence, solitude and darkness, we can only say that they are actually elements in the production of the infantile anxiety from which the majority of human beings have never become quite free.

— Sigmund Freud

33.

I owe my solitude to other people.

— Alan Watts

34.

When you have a lot of solitude, any living thing becomes a companion.

— Jose Mujica

35.

A great reader seldom recognizes his solitude.

— Mason Cooley

36.

Solitude cherishes great virtues and destroys little ones.

— Sydney Smith

37.

I don’t mind solitude. I love talking to other people, but I do need my space.

— Iris Chang

38.

Give me solitude, give me nature, give me again O nature your primal sanities!

— Walt Whitman

39.

As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness

— Henry David Thoreau

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Quotes On Loneliness And Solitude

Loneliness and solitude express themselves differently when it comes to our emotions.

For many, solitude is a peaceful and calm feeling, while loneliness fuels anxiety or sadness.

There is no right or wrong way to feel loneliness and solitude.

1.

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely.

— Lorraine Hansberry

2.

Loneliness is a barrier that prevents one from uniting with the inner self.

— Carl Rogers

3.

Anything we fully do is an alone journey.

— Natalie Goldberg

4.

Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life. The thing that I’m most worried about is just being alone without anybody to care for or someone who will care for me.

— Anne Hathaway

5.

It is easier, of course, to find dignity in one’s solitude. Loneliness is solitude with a problem.

— Maggie Nelson

6.

Despair and isolation are my greatest internal enemies. I need to remember I am not alone, even when it feels that way. Now more than ever it is time to put my solitary ways behind me, even while protecting my solitude.

— Audre Lorde

7.

Solitude is where one discovers one is not alone.

— Marty Rubin

8.

Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn on sunsets and makes night air smell better.

— Henry Rollins

9.

Solitude terrifies the soul at twenty.

— Molière

10.

Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.

— Paul Tillich

11.

Be silent in that solitude, 

Which is not loneliness, for then 

The spirits of the dead who stood 

In life before thee are again 

In death around thee, and their will 

Shall overshadow thee: be still.

— Edgar Allen Poe

12.

Loneliness is the poverty of the self; solitude is the richness of the self.

— May Sarton

13.

…whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh & exciting – over & over announcing your place in the family of things.

— Mary Oliver

14.

The man who fears to be alone will never be anything but lonely, no matter how much he may surround himself with people.

— Jane Austen

15.

Loneliness is a strange gift.

— E.B. White

16.

Being able to endure loneliness and enjoy it is a great gift.

— George Bernard Shaw

17.

What harm if in the midst of loneliness we have one little laugh?

— Lu Yu

18.

Loneliness is proof that your innate search for connection is intact. 

— Martha Beck

19.

Solitude is not the same as loneliness. Solitude is a solitary boat floating in a sea of possible companions.

— Robert Fulgham

20.

In yourself right now is all the place you’ve got.

— Flannery O’Connor

21.

Loneliness is something I’ve never been bothered with because I’ve always had this terrible itch for solitude.

— Charles Bukowski

22.

If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.

— Jean-Paul Sartre

23.

Thinking, existentially speaking, is a solitary but not a lonely business; solitude is that human situation in which I keep myself company. Loneliness comes about when I am alone without being able to split up into the two-in-one, without being able to keep myself company.

— Hannah Arendt

Deep Inspirational Solitude Quotes

All moments in this life are fleeting, and it is in solitude that we can appreciate our time more fully.

1.

Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.

— Bell Hooks

2.

The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the religion of solitude.

— Aldous Huxley

3.

In solitude, the soundless dialogue which the soul holds with herself finally becomes audible.

— Jennifer Stitt

4.

Solitude is the audience-chamber of God.

— Anne C. Lynch

5.

Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.

— Pablo Picasso

6.

The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.

— Voltaire

7.

Solitude, whether endured or embraced, is a necessary gateway to original thought.

— Jane Hirshfield

8.

Solitude is for me a fount of healing which makes my life worth living.

— Carl Jung

9.

I can be alone without being lonely. In fact, those times of solitude are necessary respite for a beleaguered soul, set upon by the pressures of life. I need to take whatever moments I can to just be still.

― Steve Goodier

10.

In solitude we give passionate attention to our lives, to our memories, to the details around us.

— Virginia Woolf

11.

Belonging so fully to yourself that you’re willing to stand alone is a wilderness — an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching.

— Brené Brown

12.

Solitude is the place where silence allows us to listen.

– Greg Robbins & Mark Rose

13.

Boredom is not only an adaptive emotion but a vital one with its related faculties of contemplation, solitude, and stillness. It is essential for the life of the mind and the life of the spirit.

— Maria Popova

14.

Celebrate the event called life in a place called solitude.

— Nitin Namdeo

15.

What one writer can make in the solitude of one room is something no power can easily destroy.

— Salaman Rushdie

16.

I’ve always been drawn to solitude, felt a kind of luxurious relief in its self-generated pace and rhythms.

— Caroline Knapp

17.

Absence, the highest form of presence.

— James Joyce

18.

To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.

— Deepak Chopra

19.

My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

20.

Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt in solitude, where we are least alone.

— George Gordon Byron

21.

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

— Warsan Shire

22.

Your soul needs time for solitude and self-reflection. In order to love, lead, heal and create, you must nourish yourself first.

— Louise Hay

In Conclusion

If you find yourself in solitude, it isn’t necessarily a bad place to be.

We hope that these quotes help you to embrace your solitude — or to at least accept it with open arms and deeper understanding.

May they serve as a reminder that your experience, although it may feel lonely, it is not singular.

Solitude connects us all, in its own way.