Monday, January 24, 2011

Solitude, My Sweet Sacrament

Yesterday I deactivated my Facebook account for an indefinite period of time, in hopes of restoring a part of me that I am losing.  This part of me is my ability to be alone, to think independently, to not rely on the approval of others, and to develop stronger, deeper, and more meaningful relationships.  It may sound silly that I am retreating away from others in order to better connect with them, but this makes a lot of sense to me and I have had success with it in the past.  When one is contently alone for awhile, happily curled up in the rich reserves of one's heart, true compassion will naturally arise when one re-enters the company of others again.
Solitude is endangered in our society.  The internet (specifically Facebook) and cell phones are especially addicting.  A lot of people have not yet experienced the benefits of solitude, or maybe they personally don't need it.  That is not for me to know.  And I do not imply that we should never use these tools for communication, but I have realized that a time away from them is beneficial.

Spending time alone at first can be boring.  It can allow us to notice how restless we are.  But at the same time, deep within, we know it is for the best.  It is like taking a shower with the finest soap: surprisingly refreshing and gently cleansing. 

Today I plan to spend time reading a book, writing in my paper journal, reading bible scriptures, sitting on my cushions with a prayer and my Creator, and stretching on my exercise mat to loosen the tension in my body, which at times I unfairly neglect.

Through solitude, we revel in our own joys.  Learn from our own mistakes.  Make our own decisions.  And for just a time, we quiet the voices of everyone else, telling us to go this way or that way, telling us not to do something, or to do something different, in order to hear the true voice of God.

17 comments:

  1. What beautiful thoughts. I love solitude, especially spending time outside in the warm sun.

    Oh, spring, where art thou? Come back soon, please.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Enjoy your time. I love solitude, too. It's a very valuable part of life. Though I don't have FB, I do take blog breaks from time to time, just to rest and recharge a certain part of my self.

    ReplyDelete
  3. All the best... trust me, you will need it :) I call the time I spend with myself as the "Reclaim My Life" part of living. Like your bookshelf, our lives too need to be neatly stacked once in a while, and reviewed for effect. God Bless.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love being alone. Taking a long stroll or read for a long, long time. I do very much agree with you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. When overload becomes a problem for me, I step back with a book of poetry or history and read. I also go for walks, most often with my wife. She is the best cure for my overload...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I did that too by not turning on the tv since the beginning of the year. I too was losing the ability to be alone with my thoughts and creativity....I hadn't thought about Facebook...hmmmm...

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love this! Life becomes so uncluttered when we free our minds from electronic distractions.
    You know what? I now really want to close my computer for the rest of the afternoon and just read and maybe take a walk or something. Thank you for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I admire your commitment to action i.e deactivating your Facebook account. It's something I've thought about for awhile but haven't done. Enjoy your solitude.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are so wise, my friend. I rarely go to facebook anymore. Just for Luke's poetry group.
    Relish the solitude.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your solitude journey sounds so meaningful and intentional. Sometimes I resist it. The silence is more distracting than the clamor of boys (my sons) and all the outside forces. Yet, as you read in my blog (thank you), I can embrace it and enjoy my own things in my own way at my own pace. I'm starting to appreciate those times. Although, I do still have moments of loneliness.
    Peace, Mary

    ReplyDelete
  11. oh yes. me too. I constantly have to restrain myself from FB in order to keep myself from slipping into THAT way of things, where pretty is a btter word than beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Solitude is much undervalued these days. I am minimalist on Facebook, it is useful mostly for keeping in touch with the groups I'm involved with locally

    ReplyDelete
  13. I agree.. Sometimes, all we need is time and place to be alone for us to able find our self again... :) God bless!♥

    ReplyDelete
  14. a thought provoking post. facebook is both good and bad, but i honestly cannot see me deleting it as it is too valuable in organising, i might find i have an excess of solitude. on solitude, i find a certain amount is heavenly, too much not good for my mental health.
    sometimes i like to just lie down or sit and wait for thoughts to take over, it happens with patience. I love the period just before falling asleep, sometimes you have some serious lightbulb moments then. i dont know about getting closer to god, but for me thinking is a pretty full on pursuit. i've thought a bit about how inherent loneliness is in the human condition - we are ultimately doomed to live in a private world in our own minds regardless of whether we are surrounded by people or not...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, a really interesting post. I succumbed to the 'must be on facebook and twitter' pressure, and signed up. However, I find I can't keep up, so my dealing are very haphazard. Solitude is something which seems to frighten many people... I am part-hermit (!) and I'm forever being told 'I should get myself out more'....sigh xx

    ReplyDelete
  16. Jade, i so agree! I love my moments of solitude, they keep me connected to myself ;-) but do at times struggle juggling it all with modern day living. x

    ReplyDelete