Solitude is not just for introverts. We all need moments of intentional withdrawal from others. Solitude allows us to become more grounded within ourselves and present with others.
To be sure, we are relational beings. We need community and meaningful connections in order to thrive.
At the same time, if we are not careful, we can become overly dependent on others – always seeking their approval and comparing ourselves to them.
When we need group consensus or a public opinion poll to make daily life choices we are leaning on this side of relational dependency.
As we find ourselves constantly drawn to the approval of others, we also know we are only playing a part. Our time is spent trying to become the person we think others will accept and find worthy of belonging.
In the end, this leaves us feeling empty and disconnected.
Solitude provides a needed correction to this tendency.
When we slip into playing the part others expect of us, solitude allows us to find our footing again. Away from the many opinions and comparisons of others, we have the freedom to remember the man God created us to be.
And now regrounded, we can again offer the best version of ourselves to others.
In this way, solitude actually helps us to be more present.
When we are rooted within our own heart, we can freely enter into the world of others – and can truly love them because we no longer desperately need their approval.
Unless you are an introvert, you probably don’t regularly seek solitude. But it is good for everyone, at least occasionally.
Take time to withdraw, unplug, and retreat.
Learn to practice rhythms of solitude and deepen your presence with yourself and with others.