“Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into a garden of solitude.” Henri Nouwen, Reaching Out.
There is a depth of thought in Henri Nouwen’s books that resonates with the truth. You cannot deny his tug at the very fabric of ones soul. The human makeup is a complex thing and it takes the spiritual genius to simplify it and reach down with poignant precision and mark off the parts that need repair. We are keen to find the solutions for our soul from without and the impression Nouwen makes is that the answer lies buried in the desert of our loneliness. If we are able to confront the pains of our heart in solitude we will unravel the many paths we have taken to substitute loneliness with temporary solutions.