Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pockets of Solitude

Solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. 
In silence we listen to ourselves, 
and in quietude we may even hear the voice of God. 
~~Maya Angelou~~

I saw that framed quote hanging on a wall in a coworker's office last week and it created a resounding gong in my heart. For the past few months I've felt off. Prickly. Tense. Irksome.  I almost convinced myself that my lack of exercise and running were unleashing the beast I've reined in for some time. Or my hormones were wreaking havoc on my inner serenity. I blamed it on everything and everyone hoping it would right itself in due time. Instead, my equilibrium continued to lean on one side then sway haphazardly in every direction. When I read that quote I discovered what was lacking. Solitude. Alone time. Nannette time. God time. 

It's been over a month since I deactivated my Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and LinkedIn accounts. The decibels in my head decreased to a deafening silence and I felt free. Well, almost. My life rarely allows me a moment of peace let alone quiet. If I'm not at work, I'm at the gym. When I'm done at the gym, I'm either surrounded by Ray, my kids, parents, sister, grandchild, brother, sis-in-law, nieces, nephews, friends, strangers, coworkers, etc. When I'm editing photos of a recent shoot there is music, or background t.v. noise. If I'm not working on my photography I'm fulfilling my volunteer duties for My Refuge House. And if I'm not doing all of the above I'm scrambling to spend quality time with the friends I've neglected in the past year.  I fail to notice I've stepped into the danger zone until it's too late. The dreaded zone where the beast is unleashed and whoever is standing the closest gets the swipe of my claws. Why do I always wait until I draw blood? 

It's a vicious cycle and my triggers should be obvious but the busyness of my life causes me to be blind, deaf, and quite dumb. Spending quiet solitude with God centers me like no one or nothing can. My Nannette and God time allows me to hear his voice. It is in these moments that the muck and mire coagulating the smooth flow of living water are revealed to me.  It is the reason for my imbalance and no one can unclog the obstruction unless I make a conscious choice to plug myself into the source of tranquility.

If I were diligent in spending daily quiet time with the One who loves me I would not lose control. I could easily forgive, speak with grace, and act with love. I wouldn't denigrate myself for perceived failures and self-imposed perfection. I would pay close attention to what God has tried to tell me about the heavy burdens I've carried for so many years. The baggage of past wounds I've hauled into every relationship I've had. But those revelations are for another blog entry. In the meantime, I steal pockets of solitude throughout my day and refuse to be apologetic about it. Hopefully, the peace and serenity I seek will transform the putrid waters of my soul to run like a fresh stream.