Crowded Loneliness

Some people cannot be alone.
They feel left out and fearful when they're alone.
They feel the need to fit in somewhere.
 As a result, they become emotionally attached to
people, things and experiences.
 
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CNrCaeifl0s/SdPUU8rJrHI/AAAAAAAACMQ/HH6hdLdruD8/s400/Money_Black_Hole.jpg
 
Some seek to fill a hole with no bottom.
They're convinced that they should fill their lives with
 more, more, more or attract more people and experiences
while totally ignoring their inner black hole...
their inner void... and their inner emptiness.
 
More things, people and experiences...
however attractive they seem,
cannot truly satisfy that inner longing.

For some... they are alive only in public.

Their identity is intrinsically associated with

all the arrivals and departures of social life.

 Their lives may be full of activities,

but they do not have any degree of understanding of

why they do these things.

Their lives have no overall purpose.

They have no clear idea of their own nature or identity, 

of who they really are.

 

 

Some people must always have others around them. 

This is the quality that makes them feel validated.  

Many people live their lives without ever reflecting

on life itself or its meaning for them.

 

 The contemporary self seeks celebrity and connectivity

as a way of being seen by others and becoming known.

Their goal is to be recognized, visible and connected;

however, most still come up empty...

and remain untrue to themselves. 

   

Imagine how life would be

 if we all put as much energy into developing

a loving relationship with God and ourselves...

as we do in our relationships with others.

 

 

Some assume group-derived and group-dependent identities 

one after another as they progress from scene to scene

in social life.

  

 Some live exclusively in relation to others,

and what dissipates from their lives is...


solitude.

 

 



The individual has always had to struggle
to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business.
If you try it, you’ll be lonely often, and sometimes frightened.
But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
Arthur Gordon

 

 

We all need periods of solitude.

  Solitude gives us time to explore

 and know ourselves beneath our own surface.

 It unfolds a deep, creative awareness of our inner truth.

 It allows us to get back into driving our own lives,

 rather than having them run by the demands

 from the outside world.

 

 

When our minds are busy and distracted

with things of the outside world,

 our state is one of continual questioning.

 It is one of response and reaction.

 

  Inner "noise" can be just as troublesome

as outside noise when it comes to having

quiet time with God.  

 

  Preparing our hearts to hear from God

requires a focused effort.

Noise, whether outside or inside,

distracts us. 

 

 

Focus is always found at the feet of God.

 

 

"But Martha was distracted by her many tasks;

so she came to the Lord and asked,

‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself?

Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her,

‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things;

there is need of only one thing.

Mary has chosen the better part,

which will not be taken away from her.'"

Luke 10: 40-42

 

 The Lord gently rebuked Martha

 because she had forgotten what was important.  

In order for God to speak to us,

 

we need to be in His presence

listening for His voice.
 
 
                                
 Every day God wants relationship-building time with us,
 
which means our highest priority must be...
 
time at His feet, in His presence.
 
 

Making time for daily devotion is critical to hearing God!

A time of Devotion and Prayer

is something to be taken seriously... and requires time. 

 

 

 

The dictionary defines Devotion as

“the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.”

Using that definition,
we should seek to grow even more devoted to God than we are
to anything or anyone else.  
 
Almighty God we recognize your presence
simply by taking a deep breath. 
The same breath with which you separated light from dark,
with which you breathed life into Creation,
fills our lungs today as we take a still moment.
 
  

Tapping into our inner truth reveals and transforms

  the true light within us.

Renewal emerges from an examination

of our inner resources. 

  

   As we enter our quiet time,

 
we should come to God first in prayer for an understanding
 
of how He would like us to spend this time with Him.
 

In the same way, when we are with God, at first,
 
we will feel like we need to say something, to do something. 
 
But as time goes on 
 
 and we become accustomed to being in His presence,
 
we will find ourselves content to simply be with Him.
 

To be still and just be with God gives God the opportunity

to speak, to do, and to simply Be.

 

When we are running around, doing things, 

 

talking all the time and never getting comfortable enough

 

to be quiet in His presence,

 

it is difficult to come into that relationship which God has

 

called us to be in.

 

We need to wait patiently for God and know that God is God. 

 

This is called Being Still.


Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.

Psalm 37:7 

Be Still and Listen.

 


Quiet Time

“God speaks in the silence of the heart.
 
Listening is the beginning of prayer.”
 

(Mother Teresa) 

 

Being alone can be a very positive state of being.

 

Being alone is an opportunity... not a curse.

Nothing much happens in the quiet zone,

at least from the outsider's perspective.  

People in the quiet zone often say that they need a few days,

or even longer, alone just to think - or pray or meditate.  

Without the old definitions of the world

and our accustomed activities to fall back on,

time in the quiet zone can create substantial introspection

and heightened self-awareness. 

 We can only be ourselves if we are often by ourselves. 

 Spending time alone allows us to delight ourselves in God.

Out of this quiet time can emerge intuitions and insights

which provide the recipe for new beginnings.  

Alone time gives us an opportunity for reflection,

contemplation and self-assessment.

In essence we get to know ourselves better.

We come to know who we are

and Whose we are.  

"Be still, and know that I am God.”

 Psalm 46:10

 

Solitude gives one time to examine the course of one's life,

to reacquaint oneself with the nature of one's inner self,

and to think of ways to have one's dreams come true.  

  

 

   What most people can agree on is that

 

love blooms from within.

 

  In the silence of the heart

we are able to recognize the reservoir of rich love within.

 This quiet, timeless space creates a state

where our being can become more expansive,

and yet include the reservoir of that rich love within us. 

  

  We can look within to find the treasure.

As our awareness expands,

we are able to tap into the reservoir of our being

and identify the rich love that lies within. 

We can, then, reclaim the love

that we thought was outside of ourselves.    

Solitude is something we choose.

 From the outside, solitude and loneliness look a lot alike.

 

Both are characterized by solitariness.

 

But all resemblance ends at the surface.

  

Solitude is a time for reflection and inner searching. 

 

Solitude can bring us to a state of gentle peace.

 

The pure silence is a transforming peace in itself. 

  

  Solitude is a time that can be used for listening to God.

 

  

 "For God alone my soul 

waits in silence."

-Psalm 62:1

 


  A few moments in quiet prayer...

can be all that we need

for our day to be transformed

from one of disorder

 

 to Divine Order.

Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely.

 Solitude is a positive and constructive state of engagement

with oneself.

People may seek physical seclusion to remove distractions

and make it easier to  concentrate, reflect, or meditate. 

 Solitude is desirable, it is a state of being alone

where we provide ourselves wonderful

and sufficient company. 

 

Jesus prayed for guidance in places of quiet solitude.

 

 We often look for external signs to guide us into a beginning,

but our inner attitudes toward life,

our renewed self-knowledge and our intuition

are really the hallmarks of our new beginnings.

 

By relying on our inner voice to tell us where to go in life,

we are likely to have more motivation

than if we were to depend on the expectations

provided to us by others. 

 

 

If we are enslaved with outside love, 

 

we are bound to live

 

like an unexpected mishap. 

 

 

 

 Solitude is a state of being alone

without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness. 

Seeking and enjoying solitude

helps us to take care of our souls.   

Some people are naturally inclined

to spend time alone with themselves. 

While, others cringe at the thought. 

Quiet time allows us to do the things we want to do

and the things we love, without any compromise.

 

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up,

 left the house and went off to a solitary place,
 
where he prayed.
 
Mark 1:35
 
 Getting away from others can regenerate the inner self.
 
 
When we need to escape the world we can turn to solitude for help.
 

Some may say we are crazy... but solitude does not judge.
 

Instead, solitude will sit and listen to all our thoughts and dreams.

 
 

Alone time allows us to exhale and relax.

It allows us to get a fresh perspective.  

 A few moments of absolute quiet is like a breath of fresh air. 

It gives us the opportunity to breathe in new life.

 Time alone gives us the opportunity

to pray, listen, ponder and plan.

Alone time allows us to get to the heart

of what we really need and think

 as opposed to being told or influenced by others 

and their opinions.

 

  Alone time gives us time to reflect on what is important in our life.

Alone time gives us the opportunity to clearly

communicate with God and hear God's instructions. 

It can be convenient to run from ourselves

through the constant company of others;

however, it is important and beneficial to spend quality time with God

and be comfortable with ourselves.

Quiet time involves an inner state of being...

as well as an outward condition.

 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to Bethsaida,

while He dismissed the crowd.

After leaving them, Jesus went up on a mountainside to pray.

Mark 6:45-46 
 
 

 Jesus regularly took time to be alone 

with His Father in prayer.

Giving ourselves the ability to be alone allows us to have a greater appreciation

for the time we spend with others. It is important to find some balance in this;

and once we do, we will enjoy our relationships even more.

 

 Being alone is one of the great treasures in life.

Learning to accept solitude, allows us to truly be with someone else... 

and have it mean something. 

It is only through spending time getting to know ourselves

that we can become whole. 

       

 If we follow Jesus' example...

if we can experience silence and aloneness without being overpowered

                                                                                        by the urge to find distractions... 

 then we can be free from culture in order to change culture in a powerful way

 as Jesus did. 

 

We need quiet times because we need God.

 

God is the One who makes sense of life for us,

in times of crisis or calm.   

 

  The next time you are finding it difficult

to get away from the noise and get alone with God,

remember who is standing in your way.

Then remember Who is greater!

We can look within to find the treasure.

 

God has placed within us a vacuum that only He can fill.

Until God is there, nothing satisfies.

 

In solitude, I withdraw from people, noise, cell phones, beepers, pagers, faxes all the stimulation of life to be with God. I get away from all of the scaffolding in my life, all of my roles, all of the people who are either cheering me on or telling me where I ought to do something different. I get away from all of that to just be alone with God"to find out,
In solitude, I withdraw from people, noise, cell phones, beepers, pagers, faxes all the stimulation of life to be with God. I get away from all of the scaffolding in my life, all of my roles, all of the people who are either cheering me on or telling me where I ought to do something different. I get away from all of that to just be alone with God"to find out,
In solitude, I withdraw from people, noise, cell phones, beepers, pagers, faxes all the stimulation of life to be with God. I get away from all of the scaffolding in my life, all of my roles, all of the people who are either cheering me on or telling me where I ought to do something different. I get away from all of that to just be alone with God"to find out,

 Everywhere we go, even in our own homes,

there is some kind of noise to distract us,

from telephones to TV to traffic.

But making time for daily devotion

is critical to hearing God!  

 Everywhere we go, even in our own homes,

there is some kind of noise to distract us,

from telephones to TV to traffic.

But making time for daily devotion

is critical to hearing God!  

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