Solitude By Vicki Paynter


Today I sit here in solitude.  I have just read Paulo Coelho’s piece on solitude and it has left me thinking.

Right now the amount of solitude I am in leaves me feeling so overwhelmed by how small it can make me feel.

I am aware of all the nerve endings in my body.

I am aware of every thought soaring around my mind.

I am aware of the bitter taste of coffee.

I am aware of the hunger pangs but lack of desire to eat.

I am aware of being alone.

I am aware of my vulnerabilities.

I am aware of feeling frightened.

I am aware of disappointments.

I am aware of how quiet my world has become.

I am also aware of the privilege of this solitude.

I am aware that each day I become more accustomed to myself and all this quiet.

I am aware of my friendships, the real ones, the not so real ones, the accepting ones, the judgmental ones, the kind ones and the ones I have moved away from. 

Each one leaves and has left an indelible mark on my heart, my soul, my memory.

I have grown through each one.

I have been blessed through each one.

I have loved through each one.

I am so aware of the ones I miss but know they need to be gone so I can be free.

I am aware of the ones I need to fight for, for they bring challenges, intelligence, faith and unconditional love into my life. What is unconditional love if not that? I may not like, admire or understand all aspects of these different personalities but my life would not be as rich without these people.

I am learning to be braver day by day in my solitude.

I am learning to understand how much I have needed approval from others all my life and that it is now time to approve of myself.

I am learning that it’s okay to just be, to have no direction but to know I put one foot in front of the other today. I may not have traveled very far but I have moved forward slowly, and for today, for now, that is enough.
I am learning that my faith grows more powerful in my solitude. When I fill up all my time I cannot feel it wrap itself around me, warming me, holding me, allowing me to feel safe and not so alone. In my solitude I pray large prayers, I hold conversations, I howl, I laugh, I talk and all the while I feel the depth of my blind faith holding me, keeping me steady, taking my wobbly legs forward one step at a time. And each footstep leads me closer to my God.
I am learning that being brave is something I am really good at on the outside. I am learning to find it on the inside. It terrifies me to be so alone at the moment but each day passes, each day I breathe, each day I walk on and each day there is just that little bit more inside me that was not there yesterday. I am finding my way.
In my solitude I address my disappointments, my aching heart, my confusions and each day that I forgive, I forgive myself too.

In my solitude, I address my joys, my love of my children, the strength of my mother, the wisdom she has shared, the courage she has lived by and I see how blessed and safe I am in her love.
In my solitude I rejoice at this beautiful place I live in, the security I do have, the books I do read, the conversations I do have, the sunsets and the sunrises. In my solitude I am grateful for all the beautiful things about me. I cherish the growing friendships I have with both my children. Watching them evolve, grow and discover who they are. I embrace change, even though it is never easy, but as we are pushed on, challenged further, we move, we grow, we listen and we learn to be okay with who we are.