Searching for Solitude

Loneliness plagues my existence…

Or at least that’s what I dramatically tell myself every time I find time on my hands. Otherwise, I don’t really think about loneliness. Not to be existential, but what is loneliness anyway? And why do so many of us feel it? I remember Googling the difference between “loneliness” and “solitude” one day to make sure I wasn’t using them interchangeably and did not expect the definitions I received. Apparently, loneliness occurs when you are around people yet still feel lonely. On the other hand, solitude is making the choice not to be around people but enjoying your own presence and taking time to reflect. 

As much as I wish I were experiencing the latter, I’m not. True, I have great friends who love to spend time with me and caring family members back home who I can call whenever I need to talk. I feel ungrateful in my loneliness, thinking, what gives me the right? Thankfully, we have entered a time where “all feelings are valid” and it’s ok sometimes not to have a specific reason for feeling down. But is it ok? I mean, in the long run is it ok to always blame my negative emotions on some unknown force or dark energy? How long before it turns into something I never wanted? 

It is during these times when I look for God the most because I contemplate, what could I possibly be missing? I have a feeling that many people have these same questions and wonder how to deal with them. One of the hardest things for me to do is step out of my thoughts. By this, I mean simply being present. If I’m not preoccupied with doing some form of hands-on work or having a conversation, then my mind begins to wander. It wanders everywhere but the present. 

Instead of reminiscing, I find myself regretting. Instead of hoping, I find myself worrying. I regret the smallest of things. Did I say the wrong thing? Did I come off as
too strong? Did I seem too distant? I’m not sure why I can’t seem to let myself be at peace for just a moment, just a second, enjoying my own company. As for the future, I question, Will I always feel this way? How much longer until I become who I want to be? As many probably know, these questions lead nowhere. 

Being content in your own presence definitely seems like a skill that takes time to acquire. It would be so great to transition from loneliness to solitude, but it will take work. A Bible verse I often overlooked comes from Colossians 3:1-4 which says: 

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Once again, a Bible verse makes everything seem so simple! Sometimes it’s frustrating when I find a verse that holds the answer to a specific problem of mine. But at the same time, I get such relief knowing that my answers will always be found in God, sometimes, they are hard to find. 
One of my most repeated sayings is the one going, easier said than done. While true, there is no reason not to try when God has laid out a path for you.

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