Healthy adults are independent AND dependent. Most of us have anxiety as we shift between what we fear is dependency on one side and isolation on the other. Health isn’t overcoming the temptation towards either, but instead it’s learning to thrive in the tension between them.
This week I have had several conversations around loneliness vs solitude. At some point during grad school, a professor invited me to consider the difference between loneliness, aloneness, and solitude. Somehow, giving myself permission to enjoy being alone, helped me grow in so many ways: kinder to myself, more adventurous in my solitude, and able to participate more meaningfully in relationships that mattered to me.
Good therapy is revival, not survival. It’s not about symptom reduction, it’s about flourishing.