During this time of lent, solitude has been a word that has found a particular space in my personal spirituality. I thought I would share some thoughts with you. My cohorts, are all so good at giving you wonderful words of wisdom. As I sit here I am not always sure If I am sending anything that can be useful or not. Maybe this will speak to you, maybe not so much. I hope that something that is said will prompt a time of solitude for you whether it is lent or just an average day.
Solitude: “Be still and know that I am God” There are two sides to solitude, a place of quiet reflection, and a time of dancing. A time of moving from our pain to a place of Resurrection.
In our time of solitude we are challenged with not only being still but also a time of reflecting upon our life.
Where are we in life? Where do we want our life to go and what are the things that hinder us from getting there?
Solitude is a time of getting some answers to our questions and the healing that comes with it. However, we must be willing to find that which hinders our healing. What pain do we carry?
We need to first acknowledge that we are in need of healing. We cannot escape from it because just living in this fallen world will produce problems. What are those things we work hard to keep hidden from ourselves and others? What are the secrets in our lives? What are the things that complicate our relationship to God, self and others?
These are the things that must come to the surface of our souls. The things that will rise up within us like dross to be removed and healed, to get to the deepest part of our sacred center. This is what makes it possible to have the intimacy with God that all of us seek.
Somehow we think that we are brave holding on to those things but only to weaken us in the end. These are the things that destroy us.
“When we spend time in solitude with God, we can recognize how much we are hurting, how wounded we are, how painful our losses are, how sad we are, how guilty we feel and how worried we are”. (Henri Nouwen)
Working with broken people each day here at IBH or any other place that involves people can be a challenge. Facing wounds will not be wonderful right away as many of us can attest to in the lives of those we work with.
We too must face these things head on in our own lives. It can be fearful for sure but staying fearful is how we got here in the first place. We must not push away our pain but must try to embrace it. We must be willing to allow our pain to come forward. To embrace it and befriend it.
We need to acknowledge our pain and to name it so we know what we are surrendering to God in order for him to heal it. This pain will bring transformation in our lives if we allow God to do what he needs to do.
Solitude is also a time of dancing. Once we have experienced a time of mourning as we look upon our pain in solitude. We allow ourselves a time of grieving and letting go, it then becomes a time of dancing. A burning of our hears that leads to the joy of dancing.
If I can allow myself to be in the solitude of pain with my Higher Power then it is by his/her healing presence that God breaks open my joy.
When we stop and stay stuck, we are always traveling in misery and sadness. Dragging others with us. We must remember Joy is hidden in sorrow.
Under all the voices of solitude—is a very soft gentle voice that states you are my beloved on you my favor rests. We need solitude that helps us to hear and to believe in that voice. You are the beloved of God.
PT and the rest of the Spiritual Care Team.