To Amuse and Delight

Monday, March 14, 2011

Seeking Solitude

I have been a bit absent here, I know. For a couple of months my life has been a social whirlwind, blogging is a social arena too and I just needed a break. We all need time with our own thoughts, quiet times when we can recharge. One of the books I am reading right now is ‘Freedom of Simplicity’ by Richard J. Foster. I read this passage a couple of days ago and it pretty much sums up what I have been feeling for weeks.

“Many of us would find great relief in discovering our own cycles of activity and quiet. For example, I function best when I alternate between periods of intense activity and of comparative solitude. When I understand this about myself I can order my life accordingly. After a certain amount of immersion in public life, I begin to burn out. And I have noticed that I burn out inwardly long before I do outwardly. Hence, I must be careful not to become a frantic bundle of hollow energy, busy among people but devoid of life. I must learn when to retreat, like Jesus, and experience the recreating power of God.”

Foster says, “I can order my life accordingly”.  Those moments aren’t just going to happen naturally, especially in our too fast culture. I am deliberately making room for those quiet times. I am forcing myself to say “no”, even to  good things. (See Andrea, I am taking your wise advice!) Last Sunday I took a walk with my family. The girls were off gathering nature bits to make fairy houses, my husband was off studying trees, I had a chance to sit and just think and be still.  I took this photo of the swans, and now I am using it as a reminder to me to be proactive in seeking out quiet moments and not just sitting back, waiting for them to happen. You have to make them. It does takes effort, it may mean saying “no” to people. If you are like me the benefits will be so great that when you don’t have breaks of solitude you will feel very lonely for them.