When I was growing up in a family of 8 children, I can never remember having any times of solitude. 10 people living in cramped 4 bedroom, 1 bath railroad flat type apartments didn’t offer many opportunities for quiet times, let alone discovery.
As a young adult, I took my first two apartments with roommates, and after that met the man I would marry. Sadly, that marriage didn’t work out, and it wasn’t until I was into my early thirties that I finally lived totally alone. At first it was challenging, and I filled my life with friends, activities and lots of what I now know was just noise. Noise to fill in the empty spaces of my shattered heart and life.
Little by little though my heart, and my life began to heal and I remember one day the realization that I had become whole, almost new. I laughed at the thought that I used to “have to” have someone else around to feel complete, to feel normal, to feel valued. I discovered that I had become my own best friend.
Today in my morning devotional I came upon the topic of solitude and remembered back to what I just shared with you. Now I CRAVE solitude. There is just never enough of it for me. That doesn’t mean I am anti-social or that I lock myself away in a deep dark mysterious corner … my times of solitude can be seen all over this blog. Even as I write this I am having my much coveted time alone. The videos you enjoy, the recipes I share, the songs I sing are all born out of times of exquisite aloneness. But as my friend Sue Higgins writes “Unfortunately, many people confuse solitude with loneliness. They are not the same thing!”
Today I’m thanking God for the gift of solitude. There are millions upon millions of people in this world who will never know its joys.