Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Joy of Solitude

    I used to not enjoy being alone. I would leave lights on and every television turned on for some extra noise. It wasn’t so much not feeling safe as simply not liking the solitude of just me, myself, and I. It can get rather crowded in my brain and without the noise it can seem deafening. It took time to have an uneasy comfort with the quiet, like a new acquaintance that you aren’t quite at ease with. But gradually, we became familiar with each other. My mind would stop it’s whirring and settle into the quiet.

   Then, I had an opportunity of structured silence. There was no talking in this group for a period of approximately twelve hours. For some, this was a very uncomfortable time and darned near impossible. I can sympathize, I’ve been there. But, I found that the silence was very comfortable. I had found joy in solitude. It took several hours for my mind to slow down, to not be searching for many external sounds. When it finally did, I could hear the still small voice speaking to me. Oh, not an audible voice, but speaking nonetheless. “You are my child and you are loved more than you can know.” The voice brought comfort, and hot tears, as I found it growing quiet enough to really think though things, pray over things, and not feel torn in media directions.
   When I left this time of quiet, I found that the longing for that type of solitude continued. Sitting out at the bonfire a few nights ago, it was back to that type of joy. Shhhh! Let me just sit and stare at the flames, sit and stare at the stars. Let me grow quiet and my mind to become unhurried. It is a companion now, a laid-back friend. There is joy in the quiet of the solitude, joy in the quiet that comes with the still small voice. “You are not alone, even in the midst of the solitude.”