Solitude

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"Solitude" by Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp (CatholicMom.com)

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

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About Author

Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp is first and foremost a mother of four children under the age of 17. She has been married to the love of her life, Aaron, for over 19 years. Lori has been writing at her own website Faith Filled Mom for over 6 years. She writes about the journey of faith we live daily and how we can recognize God in this world. She has completed her 3rd year of teaching theology at a high school level and is also a current student of Loyola University Extension Program of Ministry earning a Master’s Degree in Religious Education. Her life is busy, exciting, overwhelming at times but always bursting with her faith in God. Lori hopes that you will find something that might touch your heart in her writing so that she can continue to pursue her purpose in life; to bring people closer to God one word, one moment at a time.

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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