Solitary  Holden beach, North Carolina’ Photo by Barbara Mattio

Solitude is a state of being which some people crave and some people are very uncomfortable with. There was a time in my life when solitude was difficult for me. I have always been a people person. I found though that solitude is necessary to find out who I was as a woman.  Solitude is something I enjoy now and also find to be necessary to my life. Even if everything is going well and I feel that I am in a good space, I need to spend time within. We all need to spend time alone with ourselves.  This is the purpose of spiritual retreats. Time spent in silence with yourself and time to discover the woman within. This is a journey everyone needs to make at some time in their lives.

Life today is busier than ever. Sometimes I think we are addicted to the constant hustle and bustle. We feel lost when there is nothing to do. Some feel shame if they can’t complain about how busy they are. Busy doesn’t help you to get to know yourself or others in your family. Getting to know ourselves is a project and a journey. It is a wonderful journey that leads you to meet the inner you. Solitude gives you the chance to discover what really interests you and what you may be doing to please others and not yourself.

I believe we need to know who we are to love ourselves. Loving ourselves is an important part of being a child of the Universe. As human beings,  we often don’t realize that if you don’t love yourself, you are incapable of truly loving another. Human love is given to us to teach us how to love the Divine. Divinity is in every sentient being  and it is essential for us to learn all we can about love. Not sex, not marrying well, but the love of one soul for another. This shows us how The love of Divinityexpresses its love for its creation.

The journey to finding ourselves can be the beginning of a psychological adventure story and a thrilling mystery.  Some can do this by attending a retreat of silence. Some can do it with regular meditation. Some have sold what they own and have gone to another country or area of the country to discover who they are. Away from all of the voices, telling us who we are, we can discover our true selves.

I have a nephew who walked the entire Appalacian Trail, with only what he could carry easily. I made him a medicine bag to take with him. What he discovered was the man he really was. He says it could never have happened if he hadn’t had the solitude of walking the trail. What I have seen is a young man whose life has blossomed with new adventures, new job and even marriage at 40 years of age. He just makes me smile when I think of him.

I met myself during retreats of silence. My childhood had contained experiences which I thought had changed the person I was supposed to be. What I discovered in the silence, was that I was exactly as I was when I was born. Pure white light. Not damaged. Stronger and beginning to learn to love myself.

Usually, it is a number of experiences which are uncomfortable or frightening to us which triggers a need for silence. I believe it is one of the reasons I enjoy the mountains and beach so much. I love the solitude and I love the activity. I have learned to create balance for myself in my life. I have been on a mountain top under the stars on a full moon dancing with others and I have hiked alone with my camera to document the beauty of this life.

If you are dreaming of escaping to somewhere else to find yourself, perhaps this is a gift you should give to yourself. I know that you will come back very different and yet more real and authentic in who you are as a child of the Universe. Will people think you are crazy? Perhaps. Will they ridicule you?  Many may. The richness of the inner treasure you find will be worth all of that and you will have a much stronger relationship with yourself and with The One. Life will unveil itself to you and you will know where you are to be going and how to get there. Be courageous. Be Wild. Be everything you were meant to be.