Thursday, August 31, 2006

Reclusivity


"I vant to be alone." Greta Garbo

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone...

I like to be alone. I’ve always liked it. I can remember as a child my sister and I shared a room. That, I did not like. However, in a stroke of genius; my parents got us bunk beds. My dad hung shelves up high by my upper bunk and put a clock and a reading lamp there. Oh my gosh; that was bliss. It was my own little space in the world, my sanctuary. It was as close to alone as I could get and I loved it.
I still love to be alone. People aren’t comfortable with the idea of being by yourself. They want to get together so you don’t have to be alone. But what if being alone is just exactly what you want?
Jesus himself set the example that alone wasn’t bad. He intentionally withdrew from the crowd that followed him and from the disciples to find time by himself. I figure, if it’s good enough for him...
Of course, Jesus’ example of aloneness was one of meditation, fasting and prayer. And truthfully, I am much more likely to engage in all of those if I’m by myself and free of distractions.
But alone is also the way I decompress. It’s when I sort out whatever needs sorting, I rest my mind. I study what needs studying. I watch Doris Day movies. I nap. I cook, clean, shop, sing, dance, write.
Sometimes alone is when I just sit until all the thoughts drain out of my mind and calm falls down into my spirit.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can easily take alone to recluse proportions. I’ll even admit that while I recognize that this is considered a bad thing; I’m not sure I wouldn’t be a recluse if I could.
Yeah, I know. We need one another. I know this. And I do need my friends and family. I need my work and my church and I even need the strangers that are the surprise smiles and laughter when I’m pursuing aloneness.
I need to give myself away and I need to receive from other people.
I’m not arguing any of that.
I know I need balance and sometimes those of you closest to me have to lovingly apply a crow bar to me to see that I get it.
But just like I need togetherness, you need aloneness.
Don’t let the hustle and bustle of a world that’s spinning too fast make you dizzy. Don’t lose yourself in the crowd.
Every once in a while, dismiss them and go up on a mountainside (or to a Starbuck’s or your living room) by yourself to pray...
Or to dance or laugh or sing or read or write or watch Doris Day movies.
Me and Jesus recommend it.

P.S. Don’t worry, the world will still be spinning when you are done being alone. Darn it.

10 comments:

Wolfsong said...

Lovely. I completely agree with you. I was a loner most of my life. I used to go for movies by myself, treat myself to a meal at a fancy restaurant or go watch the sunset by myself. I think it is a great way to make peace with yourself, reflect, talk to God and just forget everything that was wrong with your world today. However, I get that "what's wrong with you, why are you always alone?" bit from everyone. Then for the last couple of years I've had some really close friends and did most things with them (and still found time to spend alone) - but now, when I'm alone, I sometimes feel lonely (and that's awful!). Which is why I think that God made us to need companions. I sometimes feel bad for feeling lonely because I figure God's all you need. So now I do as much as I can with a few close friends and then spend quality time alone.

Birmingham Girl said...

Alone is good, so is being with others good...all in balance. Seems to be a theme running through life doesn't it..balance.
As your "sarcasm fruit" didn't fall from from the tree, neither did you "reclusivity". We inherit the good as well as not so good family traits!
Now leave me alone.

Becky said...

Well, my dear java nut, your wisdom has reached the ends of the earth! apparently you will never be alone again. love you!

Margie said...

Being that I am an only child, I love my time alone. I don't like to be lonely, but I don't mind being alone. A good book or God, (or shopping at Target)I take it anytime I can get it.

tina fabulous said...

you already know my great love of being alone as i pretty much have to be threatened to do anything of a social nature.
(like the band dinner @ pf changs... i think mike had to yell at me and make me cry before i finally consented)
i like to people-watch, just not people-participate.

get away from me, you freaks!

KayMac said...

Love and cherish my alone time too. Audrey Hepburn movies for me, a diet coke and a comfy chair...I am all set.

Deb said...

Alone? I'm thinking that the mothers of four-year olds don't know what that means. --that would be me. However, my dear husband will often sense that I need some time and he will say to Olivia --"come on Olivia, it's time for "Olivia Time!" --and off they go - leaving me for a few precious moments of solitude. However, I usually find myself catching up on housework. ugh.

I'm thinking I'm going to start foregoing the housework and pop a movie in the DVD player...

Although there are still times when I feel lonely....

It's those times when I know that I need some "God time".

Tonya said...

My life is so busy, and so when I get a few moments alone, I am Over Joyed to have it. I like to be alone because it does give me time to just clear my mind, and spend some alone time, where I am not rushed praying. Just before bed is usually my alone time, after I get Grace to bed, and Jimmy is gone to work. It is the time I look forward to every day.

MSUgal86 said...

You don't realize how much you love to be alone until you have a young child who refuses to let you be alone. My lunch hour is all I got and now people are invading that too.

Seppie said...

Wow... i was so happy to see that others felt this way. I was beginning to think that something was wrong with me and I wasnt Christian enough.

I'm 26 and going through some challenges and changes in my life, we all are I know, but I feel completely distant. Like if I'm in a distant dream watching myself trying to revert myself into myself... strange I know! but basically I'm in search of that reclusivity I once had, or perhaps need to have. Sense of separation from all the noise so I can hear God clearly. Anyway thanks for the support by this blog... I actually stumbled upon it accidently.

But I guess we all know that nothing happens by accident but divine appointment... right? Just one of the things I'm thinking about.

Thanks again for sharing