Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Beauty in the Lonely

The other day Sheldon and I were driving through town on our way to Band, or something. It was fairly dark out, just past the twilight hour.

As we drove along I looked into the windows of a donut shop. The shop was open but not a customer to be had. There was an employee just standing there, staring out the windows, watching the traffic go by. It was a quiet moment. He seemed lonely. But there was a beauty in it. A poignancy about it. I wondered if he had a radio going somewhere, keeping him company. Perhaps there was another employee hanging about but out of sight, cleaning up out back, prepping for the next day, counting cash from the register.

In many a movie we find these moments captured. The beautiful girl, making dinner by herself, the handsome young man staring at the TV, mindlessly flicking through channels. Of course, these two meet up eventually and the ying and yang of being along and being together is completed. 

There is a beauty to be found in the lonely. You have to feel it, embrace it, let it fill you up. It is in these quiet, alone moments that things can be heard. You may come to acknowledge a truth about a situation or yourself that you may have been avoiding. You may come to acknowledge a mistake, or a great victory that you misguidedly ignored. You may hear the still small voice of God, reminding you that you truly are never alone. I know these moments are much easier to cope with for the introvert than the extrovert. But they come upon us all, throughout our lives. 

I think there is a balance required. We need the lonely times and the community times. Too much of one or the other overloads us. I think it's important that your children, should you have any, are taught this as well. My kids always had a quiet time - each to their own room, whether a nap was required or not, to just spend time with themselves and as an added bonus  - Mom got a little break as well! It was mandatory up to the age of 6 or 7 and after that, they just did it themselves. 

If you are always in the company of others, I hope you can find some time to yourself and if you are all alone I hope you can find the beauty in it. I also hope you balance it out with seeking out friends and community where you can connect and love.

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