Skip to main content

Solitude or Isolation?

Whoever pulls away from others to focus solely on his own desires disregards any sense of sound judgment.  (Proverbs 18:1 VOICE)

Joseph Roux stated, "Solitude vivifies; isolation kills."  You might have to mull that one over a little to really get the meat of it, but in essence he is saying moving into a place of being secluded is a little different than totally isolating one's self from others.  We all need a little solitude now and again - just to recharge our batteries.  In a medical sense, the only time we use isolation is when we are trying to control the spread of a very bad disease!

At times, a place of solitude becomes a place where we empty ourselves of all the stuff which has been gathering within us and draining us of our energies. In a place of solitude, we get a moment to breathe, to just "chill" - in so doing, we are actually lightening our burden and getting ready for the next steps we might be considering taking.  Some might equate solitude with isolation, but one accomplishes rest while the other "quarantines" one away from others, depriving the one isolated from the contact with others even when they might desire that contact.

I usually find some time for solitude at some regular intervals - because without it, I don't "recharge" quite as well.  It is hard to have the regular demands of life placed upon you day after day without some time to recharge.  When we move into that place of solitude we don't always have to be alone.  In fact, some of my best times of recharging are just "hanging out" with a close friend, not really talking much, or doing any real purposeful activity - we are just enjoying the place of purposeful rest we find ourselves in.  

Solitude is purposeful - isolation is restrictive and kind of desolate.  Many patients who are placed into isolation tell us they feel a little "left out" and maybe not even visited as much as they'd have liked.  It may be because of the extreme amount of time and energies which go into donning mask, gloves, gowns, and the like each and every time you make contact with that individual, or it may just be that the barriers between that person and the one all covered in protective gear actually act as a little bit of a barrier emotionally.  

Isolation actually does something pretty significant - it disconnects us emotionally from others.  Solitude recharges us for those contacts again - allowing us to come back into those connections re-energized and able to fully invest in those relationships again.  The difference between these two is significant - one isolates us further, while the other prepares us for what is ahead. Just sayin!


Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,