We are a culture that fills our every moment. If not already entertained, we rush to create our own entertainment, plugging music into our ears, flicking screens before our eyes, or engaging in meaningless conversation just so we can appear important or connected. We dislike standing alone. It is as if we are terrified of our own internal uninhabited places where we might crash into loneliness and spiral into irreparable brokenness – in the stillness of our own breathing, silence roars and fragile self-images shatter.
Solitude is a simple treasure, and one that is often under-appreciated and seldom explored. We don’t like to set aside time to just ‘be.’ Parker Palmer, once a teacher and now a spiritual writer, says the soul is like a wild beast – it will not show up because we go thundering through the brush demanding that it reveal itself. Rather, the soul will watch and wait as we sit patiently under a tree, reading, pretending not to care. It will approach then, curious, nudging around the edges of our humanity, waiting to be noticed and looking to notice us as much as we are seeking to notice it. In the stillness, we will find ourselves.
Quiet moments are simple treasures. Like the delicate calla lily, we must unfurl to discover the essence of our very selves. “People who take time to be alone usually have depth, originality, and quiet reserve.”–John Miller
We owe it to ourselves, and certainly to the generations that follow us, to know ourselves deeply, and to enjoy the company we keep in quiet moments. Today, take time to be. Learn something new about yourself today – something surprising and delightful.