Silence & Solitude

How do you feel about being alone with your thoughts and feelings? Does it make you uncomfortable? Are you afraid of what will come up?

I read this quote, the other morning, in my current read, “Every Thought Captive” by Jerusha Clark:

I feared the silence and solitude. What would I hear in the silence? Would I have to face myself if I sat quietly for five minutes? … I kept my life loud enough to drown out my own thoughts, and what God might be trying to say to me.

Andrea (quoted on page 205, “Every Thought Captive” by Jerusha Clark)

And, this made me curious… both about how others (like you) feel on this subject, and also whether I am truly as comfortable as I think I am with self-reflection.

I’ve always considered myself to be extremely introspective — perhaps even more so than most. I love to sit & journal, and think, and dig into why I do (or don’t do) certain things. I’ve always been curious.

As such, I don’t see myself as being scared of the silence; I’m not afraid to look inside, or to consider my own thoughts.

I don’t even think I’m all that fearful of what God may want to say to me. After all, I ask Him, frequently, to speak to me… to show me who He is, and what He has for me.

However, for me, it’s more about the feelings I may have to experience if I really slow down enough. I don’t like discomfort. I don’t want to face certain feelings. It’s not that I can’t… simply that I prefer to stuff them down, find the positives, and carry on. Who has time for negativity, am I right?

And yet, by not facing my feelings, they continue to pop up again — sometimes in different ways — trying to get my attention. And they usually don’t go away until I’ve dealt with whatever it is they’re trying to show me (which usually involves bringing them before God and getting His help).

Here’s the thing:

By not slowing down and taking time to be in the silence with our own thoughts (or feelings) — or, even allowing God to speak to us — we cannot grow into all we are meant to become. We get stuck in a loop of sameness. And that’s really no way to live. It doesn’t bring us the “abundant life” Christ promised us.

So, I encourage you to be brave. Intentionally take the time to sit in silence, even just for five minutes, and take note of what comes up. I will be doing this, myself (facing my feelings), too.

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