Today, let’s chat about solitude because if we were to understand it, it could work for our benefit. There is a time to have people around you (family, friends, colleagues, associates etc.) but there is also a time when we have to intentionally choose our alone time. The solitude phase can be used intentionally as a way to identify your progress and what the Holy Spirit is leading you to. Solitude could be used for your quality time with God, reflecting on your goals, searching your heart and things you need to release. It could also help you silence the noise and demands of everyday life. When clutter exists, it diminishes our view of the next step, we may be feeling limited but this can change when we spend time searching our souls.
We must be able to differentiate between solitude and loneliness, sometimes we confuse these two concepts. Loneliness is the state of being in isolation despite wanting social connections, it is usually involuntary. Solitude, on the other hand, is usually voluntary, where people choose to spend time by themselves but can balance this with social time with others.
As an introvert, solitude is an exciting time for me because I get to reflect and deal with myself, my mindset and my emotions. It allows me to listen to my mind and my body without the opinion of others. Whilst I value solid advice, I also know the importance of allowing my thoughts and ideas to flow without external voices to either limit or even validate my thoughts.
The greatest man to walk this earth gave us multiple examples of how important solitude is. The bible tells us that Jesus Christ would often isolate Himself to be with the Father. This is a form of solitude where Jesus intentionally chose to be alone because He had a purpose to silence the noise around Him so He could be empowered on the next steps.
Jesus used solitude to deal with grief, in Matthew 14:1-13, we read of how Jesus withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place when He heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded. It may help us to briefly isolate ourselves when we are grieved because, during that alone time, we can offer our burdened hearts to God and allow Him to minister His healing power and comfort over us. Another example we can learn from Jesus is found in Luke 6: 12-16. Before Jesus made an important decision of choosing His twelve disciples He isolated Himself, He went to the mountainside to pray all night. When we are faced with making important decisions, we may consider choosing to isolate ourselves so that we may receive divine directions on how to tackle the next phase of our lives. It would even be wise to isolate yourself and gather your thoughts on your decisions before you reach out to others for their opinions. Whilst God may share wisdom with others that could help us, He sometimes shares things with us privately until such a time where these could be revealed to people in our lives.
My encouragement to you today is to change your view on solitude. This starts by removing the guilt and shame you may be associating with solitude. Start to see this as a place where you could get your soul filled for your next assignments and relationships with others. Consider being intentional with it because we hardly have time in our busy schedules unless we include activities in our plans. May this be a time of reflection, beauty, revelation on your next steps.