From The Sayings of the Desert Fathers (which includes a couple of “Desert Mothers” as well):
Amma Theodora also said, ‘There was a monk, who, because of the great number of his temptations said, “I will go away from here.”
As he was putting on his sandals, he saw another man who was also putting on his sandals and this other monk said to him, “Is it on my account that you are going away? Because I go before you wherever you are going.”
It may seem like a pleasant proposition to live all alone, to not have to interact with others very often. I know it often seems so to me! But the truth is, no matter where you go, there YOU are. You can run away from others who trouble you, but your own soul, with all its sins and short-comings, will always be with you. And sometimes, accepting that person who is you – and striving to purify her – is harder than putting up with the faults of others.
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.