Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.
“Solitude is the place of purification” – Martin Buber
The longer that I have been on my spiritual journey the more I have come to realize the meaning of, “there is a season for everything.” I have found that there is a season to be surrounded by people, learning the spiritual gifts that others can bring, and I have found that there is a season to be alone, learning of the quietness that solitude can bring. In sobriety letting go of the past and previous maladjusted views of life. Each is equally important and each comes to a person who is seeking spiritual growth. It all just depends on what season of their life they are in. For me the quiet peace that is offered when in communion with your higher power offers a serenity I never thought possible. There are few things that quiet the chatter in my head, nature and yoga in sobriety offer me a space to be in direct contact with my higher power. Interesting that these are both things I do in solitude away from the hustle and bustle of life.
Lately I have been thinking about solitude quiet a bit, in the sense that today my life involves more time for time spent apart from others. Where I got sober in South Florida I was surrounded by people most of the time. I spent 6 months in treatment where I rarely had the opportunity to be alone. When I lived in my halfway house I found it hard to find alone time. There were meetings everywhere and you didn’t have to go very far to run into someone that you knew. It seemed almost surreal because there were so many of us around and if you didn’t want to, you never had to be alone. But I no longer live in South Florida and the recovery in Virginia is very different. There is more of a separation between life and recovery and I am no longer constantly surrounded by people. Not just this but the rooms here are filled with an older generation, people under 30 are the minority, not the majority as it was in South Florida.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though as I have found that the solitude has encourage to me grow spiritually in ways that I never would have thought of while I lived in South Florida. For one, I am starting to understand a little bit more what my sponsor meant when she told me that I had to be reliant on my higher power and not sponsor reliant. This doesn’t mean that I do not still run things by other people, but my ability to do so isn’t like it was when I was surrounded by other recovering individuals. I am now in a position where I have to make decisions for myself and ask your higher power for guidance, rather than lay my faith in others. It is sometime uncomfortable because I am still unsure of myself, but I have found that being in position where you can only rely on your higher power, makes for a stronger faith and a stronger spiritual connection.
I have also found that solitude, in particular when I am in the woods that surround the area I now live in, opens me to a clarity that I find difficult to get anywhere else. Emerson and Thoreau wrote about these things 150 years ago and there is still a lot of truth to the spiritual insights one can receive when they are alone, in communion with nature. Going for a walk in the woods quiets my mind and opens my spirit in a way that I actually sometimes get the answers I am seeking. I am not sure how this works, but walking among the trees and rivers, knowing that there isn’t anyone around for miles does something to me and I always feel reinvigorated after I do so.
Just disconnecting from technology for a little bit is another way that I try to foster spiritual growth through aloneness. I find that the more I check my phone and the more I check social media accounts, the less connected I feel to my higher power and the more disconnected I feel from myself. I sometimes use these things so that I do not have to be alone with my thoughts and when I do this I am avoiding myself and avoiding my higher power. Just being disconnected from technology and people for a little bit allows me to sit with myself, no distractions, no news feeds, and just be. When I can just be, I allow thoughts to flow in out of the quietness of my spirit and I find that I am more relaxed and more apt to feeling a sense of wellbeing.
However, I have also learned that you can experience solitude when you are surrounded by others. Solitude can in one sense just simply mean being single. They say that you learn the most about yourself when you are in a relationship, but by this same accord, you also learn quite a bit about yourself when you are not dating. You learn how to not tie yourself worth up in another individual or allow your own happiness to be contingent on how another person is feeling. The solitude of being single has really allowed me to get in touch with who I am, what I want and desire, and has allowed me to focus on healing that probably could not have occurred if I was in a relationship with someone. I have found that the nights alone laying in bed have often allowed me to feel my higher powers presence in powerful ways that would not happen if someone was sharing my bed. There have been nights when my heart is aching and raw and I earnestly ask for relief I have experienced a wave of relief.
It is sometimes hard in the fast paced world that we live in, to just walk away for a little bit and be alone, without a screen or some other entertaining form of distraction, but I have found that is increasingly necessary for me to do so. It allows me to just be me, without anything else going on. It strips me down to my bare humanity and in that place I can learn more about myself then I ever could from reading spiritual books or hearing spiritual teachers talks.