Self-isolation or Solitude?

Sometimes it’s simply time to get away. About a month ago as I was struggling with writing a book about my spiritual memoirs, I knew I had to get away. I knew it was time to be quiet and listen deeply to God’s Spirit within me. I had to do some deep listening before I could do any writing. The Rubik’s cube within my soul twisted into shape that day. It felt SO right. I booked a week away at Rivendell’s Hermitage. Maybe I’d have a few days of listening and then write, or maybe I’d simply have a few days of listening, of being open to God and in God’s Presence. Either way, I knew I needed solitude.

I leave in five days. I am so happy to be going. As I leave, the world around me is twisting in a strange tornado tumult of COVID19. Each day new directions come out. New information. New travel restrictions. New gathering restrictions. I’m content to pack my bags and disappear into solitude. They now call is self-isolation. I call it solitude and I welcome it. I’ll use this time to go more slowly and hopefully listen deeply and experience God’s presence in a soul-formative way.

A part of me is concerned about so many people entering self-isolation without knowing how to do it. We’re created to be social creatures and to separate ourselves can cause inner turmoil. I wonder how we will respond to so much solitude, especially untended solitude. Not only am I an introvert, I have spent, over the years, many weeks in solitude and know how to care for myself as I open to God’s Spirit. Sometimes it’s very challenging to be alone, while other times it is full and nourishing.

Will you be called into self-isolation in the next few months? Will you see it as ‘isolation’ or as ‘solitude’? I think those are two very different approaches. If you are required to separate yourself from loved ones for two weeks or more, I hope you can find within it time for reading, reflection, prayer and meditation. Perhaps, rather than fighting the separation, it could be an opportunity to deepen your life, so when you emerge, there will be more of you that will emerge.

Isolation or solitude? Two very different words for very different experiences.

Choices. So many choices in life. What path will you walk?

Love and prayers


If you find this helpful, please share with a friend so we can broaden the contemplative pathway.

Mystic in Motion

Companion on the Way with Contemplative Fire

Contemplative Fire Canada (Founder)


6 thoughts on “Self-isolation or Solitude?

  1. i think that we will be reading, reflecting, praying and meditating in levels we have never experienced before.

    I think we will be creating works of art -painting, writing, creating in myriads of ways that we never have before ,,,

    We will be thinking and praying about the ill and those in need and others in ways we have never experienced ,,,,


    • i so hope so Jan. i think this is amazing time for spiritual growth. will we step up to it? will we learn humility?


  2. .as a postscript to my above comment:

    …and, experience ourselves, others and our loving creator-source
    In ways way we never knew possible…


  3. Anne: Thank y;ou; for Self isolation or solitude. The last paragraph especially important. I am re-reading “help thanks wow” by Anne Lamott and may read again “A short history of myth” by Karen Armstrong next. I have Re-read “Mere Christian;ity”.CS Lewis but published in 1952 when I was at university and many truths but moral attitudes are of that period esp. of women. Enjoy your period at hermitage. Joan


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