“Do not be afraid of spending quality time by yourself.” – Albert Camus
Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to escape. Whether it’s coffee, a movie by myself, or just a walk around the city, I love solitude, especially when my head is spinning and my heart is weary. As I write this, I’m sitting alone in a coffee shop listening to Phil Wickham and drinking iced coffee. This is a cherished moment.
As much as I enjoy being around friends and family, I’ll be honest: I’m a periodical loner. And you know what? I’ve begun to embrace this as a sign of personal growth, not a weakness.
When we’re young, we want to be seen with those who have status in the eyes of our peers. Friday night? I had to find some friends – sometimes anyone – who would be down with a movie or just hanging out. I needed to be seen and to be acknowledged. Being alone was not appealing, but even so, it was often forced upon me. I’m sure you’ve never experienced this, but I have constantly had friends cancel on meeting up for one reason or another. That left me at the movies by myself or sitting alone with a book and my thoughts for companions.
I hated being alone then; I love the “loner moments” now.
The older I get, the more I enjoy contemplation, my rambling with God, and embracing the grace of that moment. I’ve become less interested in the opinions of others and what they think of my social status. No one cares about that stuff, anyway. It’s just like driving a Lexus or a Honda. No one cares that you have one, they just want it for themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, I love spending quality time with my wife, my friends, and my family. This isn’t me encouraging you to lose community or to think that you don’t need other people in your life. We all need others and healthy community can bring life to the human spirit.
What I’m suggesting is that it’s OK to be alone and that loneliness can drive us to know God, to search our hearts, and to evaluate what matters most to us.
How do you deal with being alone?
Are you afraid to be stuck with your thoughts, with God, and with the matters of the heart?
It’s OK to be alone at times. In fact, it’s healthy to spend quality time by yourself.
I’m a periodical loner and I’m thankful for those moments of reflection.