From Tracie: Solitude Without Hiding

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Solitude Without Hiding

I have been basically offline for the past few days. Not checking my facebook, twitter, reading any blogs, or even responding to emails. It wasn't a situation where my internet went down, because it was working the entire time (amazing, I know!) it wasn't a situation where I was particularly busy with any one huge thing, or even several little things. It was just life. Stress. A desire to not be so connected for a bit.

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.)


  1. OH I need to do that. although this afternoon I did crawl back into bed.. and sleep for 4 hours!! I know I was floored..

  2. Diana Georgia

    ohhhh Kathi has a cd by him and it's him singing the psalms.

    come worship the lord, for we are his people...

    haaaa layyyy louuuu yahhhhh

  3. Hi Tracie,
    You are so sweet and dear to share your thoughts with all of us.
    It helps to know how others deal with those times that we want to be alone and just be still.
    Many around us do not understand and I think that you put your feelings into perspective.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.



  4. What a wonderfully refreshing thing to do. I tend to only do this when I'm at my absolute breaking point...maybe if I did it before I got there, that would be better.

  5. Here's a hug, I know what it's like to get like that and I'm glad that you're able to blog about it and find solitude.


  6. I certainly understand what you are saying, my dear.....Sometimes that's what we need to o for ourselves. I'm glad you could do it!

    Thanks so much for your sweet thoughts and prayers for Sweetie....He is doing a bit better. Not 100%, but better than he was, I'm glad to say.

  7. I need those internet breaks from time to time. It's like brain vacation. Glad you decided to return though.

  8. I totally get that. When I am down..I like to retreat as well and regather before reentry.

  9. What a beautiful idea. Solitude without hiding. While I have done this occasionally, it's usually just happened. It hasn't been something I've mindfully done.

    I'm going to work on it.

    I know the pull of the darkness. I know the desire to withdraw. But withdrawing without isolating or hiding is something to learn. Maybe it's the skill that could keep me from disappearing so much.

    Thank you for this. And for this song. I haven't heard it before, but I love it.

  10. thanks for reminding me to do this.


  11. I tend to withdraw when depressed too...but I'm glad you are okay, even if a teensy bit stressed.


  12. Girl, I'm getting very stressed out over here! I guess it's time for me to unplug again but I feel like I do that every other week.

  13. I know just what you mean. Sometimes I need to unplug and just be alone with myself. There may not be anything in particular wrong in my life, but it feels like it's going too fast and I need to slow it down for a while.

  14. My husband goes on an 8 day silent retreat every year, and he comes back renewed and ready to connect with the world.

  15. I spent a while reading your recent posts and really enjoy your fresh and honest perspective on things. I sometimes think it's a good thing to be alone and detach yourself from the craziness of life. I know I do the same thing!

  16. Even though I don't know what your stress is, I think it's important to unplug every now and then. I pray you are feeling more at peace now and that the Lord is working through you.

  17. It's been hard to get back into the internet world again after a few days away.

    Love that you shared John Michael Talbot... my dad is a huge fan too.

    Glad for your respite!