"Solitude" by Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp (

Copyright 2017 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp. All rights reserved.

Solitude: the state or situation of being alone. How does our culture view this concept? I have been studying about the history of monasteries and monks, reading about the Rule of St. Benedict and the different types of monasteries. All of these in some way faced solitude. Each monk, although in community, must live in some type of solitude at many times. These monks and religious sisters chose to leave behind the comfortable life within community to be a part of a different type of community. The move came with a requirement to face solitude.

Within solitude one eventually becomes devoid of all distractions. One must face self, for good and bad, vices, and virtues. One must empty one’s self completely. Without self-emptying, there can be no authentic room for God, and selfless love.

Our culture teaches the value of individualism, standing for self (even if it means stepping on others). It is about what “I” can do, receive, accomplish, and accumulate. It is not about others. Success is about how far “I” can get. Yet, the “I” doesn’t know who “I” even is. There has been little to no time to develop as a person when the distractions of life do not allow for self-discovery and the goal of self-emptying is not even on the radar.

So how can we bring solitude to our lives? Silent retreats, silent prayer, meditation, a new mindset on the importance of understanding our purpose, beyond making money. This is not a simple solution; meditation classes can teach the discipline so one can begin the journey. It takes time, patience, experience, and guidance to handle it. I have a friend who attends a one-week silent retreat each year. She says it takes one day of sleeping and two days of decompression just to get past the distractions to start the reflective time and solitude. As a people, we should value and take that time. If we could take the solitude, face self, empty selfish ways, and embrace selfless love, our world would change for the better.

How do you feel about solitude? Do you avoid it at all costs? Could you try it a little at a time? In the stillness of solitude one can experience the presence of God. Isn’t that worth trying for?

Copyright 2017 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp


About Author

Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp - mom of 4 teens/wife for 20+ years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and the ability to recognize God. She is a retreat director at Sacred Heart Academy HS. She just earned her MA in Pastoral Ministry as well as a certification in spiritual direction.

1 Comment

  1. For years I pined to not be alone. Having lived most of my 20s and early 30s alone, I was lonely and didn’t use the solitude well most of the time. Now that I am married with three small children, I CRAVE solitude. It is hard to reach past the daily distractions and fully enter in to prayer and contemplation. I know that I find God in my vocation, but a little solitude wouldn’t be a bad thing either. 🙂

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