By Jessica Brodie
I’m a sensitive soul. I genuinely love people, but I crave my alone time. Taking a break to recharge, reconnect with myself, hear my own thoughts again or the pulse of my heart, is essential. When I spend too much time with others without that necessary solitude, I feel overwhelmed, weary, raw, like I’m a wound without a bandage, rubbed open with every jostle and beginning to bleed.
So I hide away, for an hour or minute or a day, and I can cope again. My cup is full, and all I want to do is pour out and give until there’s nothing left.
That need for alone time used to make me feel guilty. I’d cram all my prayers in during “designated” solitude, such as my morning commute or in the shower, and feel frivolous for shirking the dishes or some other pressing duty to take a reflective, meditative walk. I’d mistakenly think I had to always be “on,” always on the go, always working and doing and hustling and bustling.
Renewal and refreshment are critical when it comes to a healthy spiritual life; we’re told this, and we should know this. But with today’s go-do-now mentality, what we say and what we allow ourselves permission to do are often at odds. We forget that throughout Scripture, Jesus took needed time apart from others and apart from his work teaching and performing miracles. Numerous passages detail Jesus going off alone for long walks, to the top of a mountain to pray, to sit beside the lake to reflect.
In Luke 6, he spent an entire night on a mountainside praying to God, then selected his 12 apostles the next morning. Sometimes he went before making an important decision. Sometimes he went because he was (presumably) sad—like when he heard about the beheading of John the Baptist, he “withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place” (Matthew 14:13). Sometimes it seems He went because the large crowd of people constantly following Him was overwhelming (Matthew 13).
Part of our Christian walk is taking time to bask in reflection and dialogue with God, and we can’t bask if we’re always doing and talking. We need to fill the proverbial cup before we can pour it out.
So if you need that time for solitude and silence, take it. Jesus did.
Tapping into that connection with our Creator can only help our soul.