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And / Or. A rather random pondering.

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

I have been thinking about Relationship and/or Solitude and Isolation. Relationship is sticky. It's about how we relate to and with others. It can be great but it is also laden with the possibility of difficulty. If we are alive we can't escape relationships. They are everywhere! Aloneness can be great too (Solitude)... but it can quite easily side step and become loneliness (Isolation). Solitude has a positive connotation while Isolation definitely seems more negative. Solitude is where you FIND your real self. Isolation is where you lose your real self. The recovery world sees isolation as a dark, lonely, dangerous place. It's where we hide secrets, no one can see us, we can be selfish with our emotions and we can keep safe distance from relationship. Solitude sounds much better...Full of sweeping vistas and deep breathing and revelation. It feels invigorating and electric and connected with an energy greater than just self. On the other hand, Isolation sounds stuffy, insulated, confined and lonely. It feels numb, unfocused and self protective...very fetal position.

As an introvert I really enjoy and need solitude. It is where I recharge and process information and ideas. But maybe since I perceive isolation in such a negative light, I am actually hiding and protecting myself under the name of Solitude. ...much more respectable! hmmmm, something to think more about.

Too often these days Relationship is difficult. It has rough edges, misunderstandings, criticism, judgement and expectations. I don't want much of it. As an introvert, I'm quite fine without it. I'm good to just isolate myself in the name of solitude...with big sweeping vistas, wind in my face and no one else's opinions to hear or consider. However, If I want to be purposeful and useful I know I can't just stay in the private, quiet places and just "do Me"... Solitude needs to be a place for me to visit and regroup, recenter, recharge and refine the ways I relate with others. If I stay there, it just becomes isolation...and mostly likely spirals downward, gaining momentum, fueled with negative emotions and shame based self talk into the mire of loneliness. I must find more ebb and flow with solitude and relationship... a One and Another-ness, or a This and That too-ness.

The more time I spent adulting the more I realize that a lot of life is like that...more And than Or... more This and That too. It is more of a gray area world than I used to believe. It isn't always black or white and we don't have to choose one thing over another in everything. More often than not I am finding that Hurt can sit right next to Forgiveness. Honesty is best if it is holding hands with Grace. And for me, the peace found in solitude can still mingle and play well with others in relationship. It's actually easier if we can live this way. Maybe that is where greater tolerance can seep in. When we can love and disagree... When we can And instead of Or.

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