Kenneth Patchen once said, "Oh, lonesome's a bad place / to get crowded into." Sometimes we feel all alone in this life. Yet this may just be part of the life cycle. There are times when we are in close relationship, and there are other times when we experience solitude. Sometimes our solitude is a time of inner healing, cleansing and release, a preparation for new relationship. And our new relationship may be the fulfillment inherent in our solitude. We can experience joy and peace in both our relationship and our solitude as long as we don't demand relationship in our solitude or solitude in our relationship. When we are alone, we can relax and enjoy our aloneness without feeling lonely or depressed. This self-sufficiency allows us to relax and be in relationship with others without being dependent or needy on them for our happiness or well-being. We say that it's good to have close relationships, but it's equally good to make a friend of ourselves when we are alone.