Duct Tape for the Soul for May 2, 2014

Solitude In Moderation!

All or none! That seems to be how many of you live. You spend your time zig-zagging from one extreme to the next. The thing called solitude is likely one such. Many people will go to any length to avoid it, perfering the company of people they dislike, rather than being alone for five minutes. Those alone-o-phobics keep the TV or radio going when no one else is around, eager to create the illusion of company, and thus avoid the dreaded quiet that is the mark of true solitude.

Others seem inclined to prefer being alone, happily, (or more likely, miserably), lurking by themselves, avoiding people as if they all carried the plague. You might have seen someone like this, (I can’t say you know them…its hard to know anyone who won’t spend three seconds with you), and you’ve probaly thought them odd. What is fascinating is the why; why do they do these extreme sorts of things?

Oh, sure, its easy to guess why the social avoiders act as they do; insecurity, poor self esteem, fear of strangers, a lack of confidence. People can’t say nasty things to you if you never talk to them! The tragic thing is that no one can love them very well either! We belong together, as people, and we never fulfill our life path when we hide out, avoiding others. You’re here to learn and love. Not much of that gets done, with you living in a bunker!

But what of the others, who can’t bear being alone? I’d bet money that these folks are afraid too, but not afraid of others; they’re afraid of themselves! Solitude opens the door to contemplation, and self evaluation. It lets your self doubt slip out, your feelings of worry become more unavoidable. You start asking yourself questions; am I a decent person? What do people think of me? What does God think of me? Am I wasting my life on meaningless crap?

You need a good bit of that sort of scrutiny, to help guide you through life. The person who avoids the quiet, cheats themselves out of that useful self examination. Either extreme is unhealthy, and a good bit sneaky and wicked. You need a balance, of both togetherness and aloneness, to have a worthwhile life. Do you have that, or are you one way or the other constantly? Turn off the noise, and ponder that a moment. And if you can’t remember the last time you had someone to talk to, get off your butt and find someone. You’ve had to much solitude, and not enough togetherness, and you know it!

Jack

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