"...it is not physical solitude that actually separates one from other men, not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation. It is not the desert island nor the stony wilderness that cuts you from the people you love. It is the wilderness in the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost and a stranger. When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. How often in a large city, shaking hands with my friends, I have felt the wilderness stretching between us. Both of us were wandering in arid wastes, having lost the springs that nourished us - or having found them dry. Only when one is connected to one's own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be refound through solitude." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From The Sea
This morning I finished reading a nice piece on Midlife Metamorphosis from the Awakenings website, a simply written piece which I feel addresses both the physchological and spiritual aspects of this critical transition period. It reminded me of some of the central differences between introverts and extroverts. I am a classic introvert, and I think Ann is, too. We both need significant chunks of solitude to help us clarify and recharge and regenerate, so that we can again move effectively through the world. But, I suspect this is not so for everyone. I suspect extroverts need to get more out into the world during this transition time in order to feel out and redefine themselves through transactions with others. They are mirrored by others, rather than reflected within themselves.
It is easy for me to forget that everyone is not me, that everyone is a different blending of different aspects, and each individual sees the world and responds to the world and relates to the world in a unique way. What's good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander, and vice versa.