You see, you are not educated to be alone. Do you ever go out for a walk by yourself? It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree—not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself—and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fishermen’s song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed. – J Krishnamurti from This Matter of Culture
In my mind it’s important to distinguish between solitude which is imperative for good health and the maturation of the human spirit, and isolation which is a toxic disconnection from others. Balancing can be difficult sometimes.
So, I think of it in terms of solitude vs. isolation. Solitude is nurturing…isolation, toxic…
For more on this topic see: Are you “isolating” and “withdrawing” or do you just need to spend some time alone?