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Learning to Love: The Sacred Solitude

Learning to Love: The Sacred Solitude

It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It’s lonely. It’s boring.

Or is it?

Solitude and I have not always been great companions. I’m a social animal by nature — I love sharing and talking and exploring with others. Being holed up somewhere all by my lonesome? No thanks, think I’ll pass.

Interesting, then, that I would choose the path I have. As a solo-preneur, it’s just me, myself and I…alllll day long. I work alone, I create alone, I eat alone. Some days, Facebook is as close as I get to socializing. Other days, I hightail it to the closest Starbucks, all for the sake of SOME level of human interaction.

It’s taken me a long time to be at ease by myself. It’s still an ongoing practice, this concept of The Sacred Solitude. There are days I can’t stand it, and there are days I crave it. I’ve taken a long, hard look at it — WHY is it so challenging? How can it possibly be so uncomfortable to just be alone? What is it that makes me squirm and look for the nearest exit sign?

We fear the solitude, for it is in those quiet moments alone that we are faced with our biggest truths.

It whispers to us while we go about our daily lives, and we shush it, then drown it out with the noise of life. It calls to us at night as we drift off to sleep, and we turn on the TV to make it go away. It beckons us in all those in-between moments, when we’re in the waiting room or standing in line, and we turn to our iPhones for distraction.

How often do you ignore that small voice? The one that points out when you’re unhappy, or living inauthentically? The one that urges you to do MORE, to BE more, to step up? We get lost in Facebook, numb out with Candy Crush, compulsively stalk our inbox. Anything to avoid having to have a conversation with that part of us that knows — there’s more than THIS.

That voice is our Higher Self. It’s the part of us that is the Divine, a spark of God. And when we refuse to listen, or when we get so far off track, that voice can be a real jerk. Because it holds us accountable. It calls us out on our shit. It SEES us, knows what lurks in the shadows of our souls. And when we know we’re avoiding the truth, we do everything in our power to keep from having to listen to that voice.

But what happens when you start to embrace the solitude? What happens when you recognize it as Sacred? It’s in this space that you’re able to connect with God, be part of the Universe on a soul level.

A transformation takes place. Instead of being crabby and bored when you find yourself alone with your own thoughts, you start to breathe into those moments. Your heart opens as you drop your defenses. (Do you realize you’ve been trying to defend yourself from…yourself??) You can admit your wrong-doings and recognize your role in creating the life you see now. In doing that, you also realize that you have the power to change it. You created this mess, you can create a BETTER mess, too. When you stop numbing out, you create the space for loving fully, living deeply, experiencing MORE.

Next time you find yourself alone, or with time to kill, let go of the need to fill that void. Sink into it, like a warm bath, and feel the power in it. Have a conversation with the voice inside:

Thank you for caring for me. Thank you for being with me. 

I know I haven’t been a good listener, but I’m here now. Please, share what I need to hear in this moment. 

Pause. Listen. Breathe.

Thank you — I needed to hear that. I love you, and I know that you are always here for me.

Now, sometimes when we open to listen, the first voices we hear are NOT our Higher Self. Maybe it’s your ex, or your mother, or your high school teacher. Negative self talk may jump at the chance to be heard, but you can recognize that for what it is: Fear. Your Higher Self never ever EVER speaks from Fear. Even though it may sometimes be hard to hear what it has to say, it is always coming from a place of Love. Divine, unconditional, pure Love. If the fear voices start in, just relax and sink in a little deeper, listening for the small, sure voice of Love.

When you are able to embrace these times of solitude as Sacred, you’ll start to look forward to them. They’ll serve to align and uplift you. You’ll leave The Sacred Solitude feeling a sense of greater clarity and purpose. You’ll feel reconnected to your Self, to the Universe, to God.

What does The Sacred Solitude look like to you? How do you acknowledge it? For a peek at my Sacred Solitude, check out my Pinterest board here!


written by Bri Heida
Brianna is a chronically-ill mama to four kiddos in the beautiful chaos of a blended family with her husband, Dustin. She's an artist, writer, and pastor, and her latest adventure is planting a fully digital church, Painted Prayers Church.

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