Usually when I find myself stressed or depressed, my first instinct is to bow out of life, avoid relationships, and retreat into the darkness....allowing myself to wallow in the delicious silence, embrace the pain, and walk away from light. It is a coping technique that I know doesn't often serve me well, but I find myself fighting my instinct to return to it time and time again.
I had several moments the last few days when the stress was mounting and things that had seemed to fall in place, fell so out of place that I didn't even know where to look for them. In those moments I checked myself. Why was I making an effort to be disconnected? Was I hiding? Was I embracing solitude as a form of depression?
It feels good to be able to honestly say that this wasn't the case. I was simply quiet. My spirit, although troubled, was quiet. My mind was quiet. My heart was quiet. I would even say that in those moments I found bits of peace amidst the stress and unsettling situations around me.
This afternoon I spent some time in quiet meditation (as quiet as it gets in my house!) and realized that I was ready to rejoin life. There wasn't any great revelation of the path I should take. No resolution of situations that surround me and answers that are just out of reach. But peace, nonetheless, is there. Stress is there too. I won't lie. But within the stress is a circle of solitude, a place of peace that isn't surrounded in darkness or pain. For the first time in my life, I have found that even though it is a place of solitude, it doesn't require seclusion from life or relationships. It is solitude without hiding.
(This is some of the noise that was happening today during my meditation. Music that opens my heart and soul to see and think and sometimes even hear from the Lord without distraction is a blessing to me.)