During the average workweek, do you get many chances to enjoy solitude? I say “enjoy” because for many people, struggling in this complex world and its hectic days, solitude is a rarity. Yes, we crawl under the covers at the end of the day and sleep but that is not solitude. Solitude is the luxury of not being busy, not doing work, not reading or cooking, not doing anything except for being conscious of your own individuality and the beautiful and complex relationships that exist in conjunction with the reality of your soul. At that period, you are able to become more clearly conscious of God’s existence, his love for each one of us and the need that we have to improve ourselves as mature followers of Jesus Christ.
Regretfully, there are some people that are truly fearful of being alone. They can’t stand the idea of solitude. We also have others who suffer by a terrible forced aloneness; for example, prisoners locked up 24 hours a day in agonizing isolation. That is really torture and if it goes too long, can result in insanity.
However, a certain amount of solitude each day and each week is truly a spiritual gift. I don’t mean that we are just not working. I mean that we are not doing anything except communing with our souls, allowing our intellect to roam back over the years of our lives and to allow our will to reach out towards God and the people around us that we love and also love us. When you are racing down IH-35 at 70 mph planning that next meeting that you are going to have your office, your mind is too cluttered, the tension too great, to really see the reality of clear objectivity.
So solitude is a gift for every aspect of our lives. It not only helps us grow spiritually, but it helps us to perform more effectively in our day-to-day obligations when we finally get back to them. Be alone, be happy.
Enjoy being alone occasionally. It is a blessing!