Last summer I realized that I was an introvert.
Anyone that knows me may disagree, as I’m quite outgoing and find great joy being around people.
However, after being a cabin leader at Youthfront last summer I realized that I recharge best when I’m alone.
After being with my campers for most hours of the day, if I didn’t have an hour to spend alone I would become more irritated and annoyed with my campers and other people in general.
Since working at camp I’ve wanted to be alone a lot more and in turn have spent the majority of the past year alone.
I love solitude. I love the peace I felt being alone. I love not being bothered. I love the healing solitude offers.
But— I am now starting to think too much time alone can be dangerous.
I wonder how Jesus felt about people the days he left the wilderness. As the bible talks about him only meeting with the devil, I’m sure it’s quite shocking seeing another human after being in solitude for so long. I wonder if he was annoyed with other people? I know I was.
When I spent 15 days alone, I was still surrounded by other people. I had conversations with strangers and made new friends. However, after being alone for an extended period of time I’ve noticed myself becoming easily annoyed, more introverted and less social—ultimately liking people less.
In fact, last week I almost took a cheap bus to London, not because I actually wanted to go to London, but because I really just wanted to sit on a bus alone for 7 hours there and 7 hours back to read in a quiet space without being interrupted by other people (plus there’s not wifi on a bus, so I wouldn’t be distracted by social media.)
As I’ve noticed myself changing, I’ve become more interested in what the Word has to say about solitude. The Lord tells us to spend time with him in solitude, “And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31)
However, I am convinced that there is a danger in spending time alone.
Jesus tells us to rest a while, not rest forever. Satan uses such a refreshing experience to in turn make us less of the social beings God created us to be.
In fact, I read an article about solitude that said that people who spend too much time in solitude are 26% more likely to die.
So, I’m interested in hearing people’s thoughts on solitude. I don’t really have a conclusion because I’m not sure I have a real opinion on this topic, because I know it’s like eating, where it’s healthy but can easily become dangerous.
In fact, I’m writing this alone instead of being at a pub with friends. Maybe I’m proving a point to myself right now.