On Busy Solitude

On Busy Solitude by Em Capito, LCSW

The Novel-winning poet, Seamus Heaney, recognized, “The true and durable path into and through experience involves being true to your own solitude, true to your own secret knowledge.”

That’s perhaps a perfect way to frame what arises from a long solo journey in nature: your own secret knowledge.

In the hustle of our daily tasks, amidst constant notifications, interruptions and distractions, it is nearly impossible to listen for this secret knowledge.

Meditation is one reliable tap into that inner wisdom we call intuition, but it cannot stand alone. Even with a daily practice, the depth and clarity of those brief conversations with self fade into impatience, lists and urgency if not replenished with solitude.

The soul requires so much more than a listening ear. We ache for spiritual stimulation, for wonder and awe.

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire expressed, “The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”

I am immersed in that busy solitude. I will return, as always, with more inspiration that I can possibly act on, and still hungry to wander with the ideas, with the discoveries, with myself.

I would venture that such solitary expanses are not only the foundation for our own peace and joy, but that they are imperative to our relationships.

It is inherently self-centered to walk out into an adventure alone, and yet the beneficiaries are most often the loved ones we return to, a bit more whole, a bit more humble, and a great deal restored.

There is much work to do inside of our relationships, for love is tricky business…and the greater the obstacles we are encountering with others, the greater the work waiting for us in the intentional withdrawal.

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” Buddha

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