August 18

Today's quotation:

I love people.  I love my family, my children . . . but
inside myself is a place where I live all alone and
that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.

Pearl S. Buck

Today's Meditation:

Sometimes it's difficult to insist on having time to oneself.  We get to thinking that we're letting other people down if we're not with them, that they need us to be a constant part of their lives if they're to thrive.  And so we don't take time for ourselves, and we don't renew ourselves spiritually and emotionally.  This means that we're always dealing with others from a rather diminished state, never dealing with them from the strongest state we're able to reach.

Time to ourselves and for ourselves is the greatest gift that we can give--to ourselves and to the people we love.  It doesn't have to be a two-week vacation in Europe or in a monastery; it just as well could be an hour each morning or afternoon during which we don't deal with anyone else's problems and just focus on finding a place of peace inside from which we can keep on dealing with our worlds.  It can take the form of a walk in the forest or a nap in the study, but it really does need to be by and for ourselves.  It's not a time to deal with other people's problems, and it's not a time to seek out passive entertainment.  It's simply a time to be alone and allow our batteries to recharge.

There is great healing available in quiet and solitude.  We can find in that healing ways to mend our thoughts and emotions, ways to help ourselves to reach places from which we function more effectively and from which we live our lives much more fully.  But getting in touch with those places inside ourselves takes effort, and that effort starts with the simple determination to spend time alone, to give ourselves a chance to grow and heal.

Questions to consider:

Why do so many people have difficulty spending time alone?

What do you see as the main benefits of solitude?

Where and when have you spent your most important alone times?  What were the results of those times?

For further thought:

I find there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly
precious.  Life rushes back into the void, richer, more
vivid, fuller than before.  It is as if in parting one did
actually lose an arm.  And then, like the starfish, one grows
it anew; one is whole again, complete and round--more whole,
even, than before, when other people had pieces of one.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh


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