My two days in solitary were tranquil, insightful, reflective. An opportunity to get closer to myself. To hear only one voice – my own. I’ve come to enjoy the spaciousness of silence in solitary and the value in it. I find without it, the voice in my head is too loud, busy with noise that doesn’t serve me well. Noise that brings on my anxiety, and distracting thoughts.
As I continue to develop and grow, I seem to have a deeper appreciation of just being still. And the benefits of being in solitary are immeasurable. For some, that’s uncomfortable
I was not thrust into solitary confinement as in prison. Although, many people might look at it that way. I was on a solitary retreat, unplugged from all communication. I chose to do this, knowing that it could be challenging – a deeper looking.
No distractions, except for the voice in my head that kept saying, “maybe I should be doing something.” But the point of a solitary is to unwind from the noise and busyness of our daily lives. And for some, that may be doing nothing. Yet so much happens in the “nothingness.”
Spending time with myself on a solitary retreat, shut off from the “outside world” was an opportunity to get more intimate with myself. If I can’t be intimate with me, how can I be intimate with others? And I believe much of our happiness hinges on our ability to connect with others in a very authentic and human way. But I think intimacy has to start with ourselves.
I read, slept, meditated and sat with whatever thoughts came into my mind. I can’t say that every hour was a picnic. Because not every thought was pleasant. But I sat with what was. Not with fear, but with kindness and curiosity. I didn’t try to change anything or do anything. That’s something novel for me.
There’s a sense of liberation looking inwards, however difficult that may be. There’s a freedom in coming to grips with who I am and learning to like myself a bit more, in spite of my imperfections. All of us deserve to find that kind of inner peace.
I gave myself the gift of my time. I hope you can find what gifts you need. And then give them to yourself.
“Life’s most precious moments are not all loud or uproarious. Silence and stillness has their own virtues.”
~ Kilroy J. Oldster ~