Philosophy has always been a tangential interest of mine because psychology is rooted in theory and I love exhausting ideas with critical questions. I am in no way an expert on philosophy, but it is one area of study that surely intrigues me. The internet is a great place to indulge in knowledge quests that steal your mind for awhile. Using this limitless resource has opened my mind to many philosophies, filled it with conceptual ideas, and shaken up my understanding over and over. Anyhow, one thing I’ve learned is that solitude has played a major part in the lives of philosophers and for many reasons.
According to basic attitudes, most people are not built for solitude because they are afraid to confront their inner truths. In turn, these people hate to be alone and are in constant search of company to avoid the depths of their own souls. Solitude is thought to be a state of growth for intellectual-types who find solace and wisdom within. To be able to withstand the inner workings of one’s being (which can be very raw and dark), is a testament to one’s character, strength and stability as an individual. Can you guess in which direction I’m naturally oriented?
I esteemed many philosophers who were inspired by solitude and subsequently, I became critical of those who could not tolerate their own truths. So there, that is the direction I took. The Bible encourages us to seek solitude, when done properly (i.e. to speak to God):
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
BUT, the bible also encourages us to participate with others:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
10 If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up…”
Last week, I highlighted some key life experiences from my self-guided therapy into sobriety but out of university. By this time last year, I was becoming a college drop-out, I left friendships and burned bridges because I wanted something new. In my delusion, I was abandoning my academic accomplishments to become famous and make art for the whole word to evaluate. First of all, I am way too sensitive for that! I don’t even know why that was my dream (hint: way too much time on social media).
As we review my story of stubbornness, we saw that self-righteous principles drove me away from darkness and yet, into failure. My opportunity in the workplace flopped and I was opening up 2018 unemployed so I returned to school. I was the lost dog returning home, no, not with my tail tucked. I wore a cloak of arrogance that absolved me from admittance–in my eyes, I had still done no wrong.
“For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
And, the semester started off well. It really did… I completed a month’s worth of homework in one week and delivered class presentations with confidence. Besides one friend that I regularly engaged with, the majority of my time was spent with myself. At first this was enjoyable, I liked to explore my mind so I could transfer ideas to journals or canvases. To this day, I have tons of notebooks, loose papers, and electronic documents decorated with poems, illustrations and other rambling thoughts.
Solitude can be a beautiful thing when exercised with purpose and I found refuge in getting away from my socially toxic ways. However, too much time alone can also be harmful. My alone time transformed into self-punishment. I castigated myself for not being able to change the bad things that happened in my life, such as being fired. My thoughts were inundated with painful memories about childhood abandonment, sexual abuse, toxic relationships and moments of failure. Neurotic thinking told me that the education system was scamming me. Loneliness made me paranoid about the intentions of others. Instead of reaching out, I kept digging deeper and deeper inside.
My happiness had been gone for a long time but I had no idea where to find it. Since I was on this self-help mission, I figured I could deal with the pain by letting it all out before it would go away. Some of the spiritual “gurus” I followed deceptively taught that sitting with your demons weakened their hold over your life. That wasn’t working, the more I focused on my pain, the more desperate it made me. I became obsessed with numerology, astrology, and various modes of divination as these practices empower the intuitive within. Instead of learning from philosophers, I began learning from witches. Not to be dramatic, but to be straightforward, this is what encouraged the devil to stick around.
See, condemnation does not come from God. Those feelings of impurity, damnation and pain were my weaknesses. I fell when my wounds were attacked and in turn, I gave my hand to the very person who attacked me. By relying on these solutions, I asked the devil to rise me up instead of repenting and seeking God’s mercy.
“The Lord will rescue his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.”
“Let the wicked change their ways
and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.”
The time had come when I finally realized I was lonely and like an idiot, I believed I needed to fill this gap with a man. This is the part where you yell at the screen “No, X!” I have a history of evading love and pushing people away, so I told myself that this time things would be different. According to my divinations, love was in-fact on the way. I did not want to wait so I used manifestation tools to bring him quicker. The skeptical philosopher was long gone and I was putting my faith into rituals. Yell at the screen, again, please!
Well would you look at that, the rituals worked, I came across a guy right away. A talented artist! “No, X! No!”
To think that, after denouncing all the Christian knowledge I grew up with for experimental sorcery, God still had mercy on me! I promise that He warned me with at least 2,400 red flags. But we all know that the broken, lonely girl does not care about red flags. A moment of silence for all the women who can relate. Like for real, I am trying to make this lighthearted but it is quite disheartening when you see the things women will turn a blind eye to in favor of a human born with opposite parts. Bless God, because I know there are some amazing Christ-following brothers out there, thank you Lord for there is hope but the reality is that in today’s world, some men don’t even deserve the title “man.”
The most I will say is that I poured into a person who compulsively lied to me, drained me of energy, time and money, and pressured me into sex. I’ve prayed on this blog post today, and the truth is that there are some emotions I still need to put aside in regards to the father of my daughter. It would be disgraceful of me to use direct examples to prove any points or to seek empathy about the situation I am in. God provides for me in the areas that I lack, therefore, it is not my place to preach about the areas of failure in another person’s life–God is almighty and can change anyone’s heart.
See, the lonely road lead me to a place devoid of love, to a place full of desperation and confusion. I believed solitude would make me intellectually strong but out of vanity, I actually sought isolation. When God extended his mercy upon me, I slapped his hand away in favor of my own beliefs.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.”
The emotional and behavioral turmoil of this relationship kicked me while I was down. I left school, again, but improperly this time. Not only had I lost a considerable amount of money but I took a severe GPA hit with 5 F’s. Then I found out I was pregnant by somebody I could never trust or love. Remember “those who exalt themselves will be humbled,” and I was humbled. But it would still be a little bit longer before I return to God as the Prodigal Granddaughter (I use that term because my grandparents raised me with a foundation in the Word).
Let us close with the definition of love because it can be so easy to accept what is not.
1 Corinthians 3:4-8
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails…”