Wednesday, June 19, 2013
My friend nailed it the other day. We were talking about the benefits of belonging to a group where people share spiritual beliefs, and contrasting that to a solitary search for the Divine.
“I enjoy the company of others who share my beliefs,” my friend said. “But in a group I'm apt to monitor what I say and worry about the needs of others. When I'm alone I can give all my energy to connecting with God.”
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be one or the other. It's enjoyable to be among those who have similar goals. In groups we can share experiences and insights, challenge each other to think differently or more deeply, and encourage one another.
But our culture generally supports a person's desire to seek out groups, whereas it may question a person's preference for solitude. Lone wolf, hermit, and recluse are not flattering terms. But as my friend pointed out, it may be easier for us to be our authentic selves when we are alone.
T'ime alone gives us a chance to let our hair down, say what we think, and give ourselves over to emotions and ideas we might not put on display for others.