It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong
I am a person who talks a lot. Yet, I crave silence. I enjoy being with other people, but I desire to be alone. I need solitude to ponder and reflect. I guess I like spending time with myself.
I haven’t always been this way. I used to want to be in the midst of people and activity. I think I was afraid to get to know myself. I secluded myself when I was melancholy or wanted self pity. Those hours were not productive, except for some fairly gruesome poetry.
I’ve have always felt at home with nature, whether I was in the woods or by the river. There is something sacred about it. The silence speaks to me and I am connected to a force much greater than myself. My husband is drawn to nature as well. One of the first things I admired about him was his comfort with solitude. Even now, we can be together and be perfectly content in silence, and we can be tranquil in nature together.
We are not total recluses. We are not opposed to seeing people or attending public functions, but our preference is being at home or out in nature. After our work week of dealing with people, we welcome the peace the weekend brings us. I suppose the quiet unwinds us and washes away the stress of the week. Nature helps us get in touch with our inner selves.
I think the ability to function in a crowd or alone is an important concept in living. It helps us define who we are to ourselves and to others. We are often very different people in the public eye than we are inside. Often, people actually have no idea who they are. It is an intimacy not everyone is comfortable exploring. But it is only in solitude that the inner voice speaks. I’ve found that the inner voice that I feared so long actually flows with wisdom I don’t hear when I am in the chaos of the world.
Being alone does not equate loneliness. There have been times in my life that I have felt lonely. I’ve needed to share myself with others, and I’ve wanted someone to understand me. The difference is that being alone can be comforting. I can be by myself and not yearn for someone to be in my presence. One could also be in the center of a large gathering and still feel lonely. I think being alone is a state of being while loneliness is a feeling.
While I do not profess to be a social butterfly, I am not quite a hermit either. I have a network of friends and family, but also a rich inner life. I consider my life to be balanced. I take care of my own needs, and have enough of myself left over to nurture others. I think that if I did not take the time to ponder and reflect, I would become self-absorbed in the daily routines of life.