Healing and Growth Are Found in Solitude

How often do you remember to pause and center?

If you haven’t realized yet, let me tell you that it’s imperative to our hurting and healing journey.

Today’s Facebook memories served me this photo and its caption:

Photo is author’s from 2015.

“I have come to the park to think and study and have a solitary picnic and paint my toenails as the breeze blows. #doingitformyself

I remember the day. It was a Sunday, lunchtime. I’d just spent the week without my kids, per the custody order with my “coparent,” and they were due back to me later that afternoon.

No one who doesn’t experience it knows how hellish and gut-wrenching it is to hand over your babies to the person who abused you, and who doesn’t treat them right either. For stretches of days at a time, even. No one knows the inner angst when it goes against every fiber of your being, but you’re bound by the law (or else) anyway.

No one cares that you have to find a way to exist with it, the injustice.

And so it’s not that I can say a break from my kids was ever a gift, but I will tell you, I found a way to claim the gift in being by myself.

Lonely as it was at times, raw as the absence of my kids felt, big as my worry over them, it was the pausing and centering in solitude that found me, taught me, healed me, and which made me fit to be everything my kids needed me to be.

So on this day — the Sunday pictured here with my fresh toes and the smooth water and the light breeze we can all imagine — I was reconciling that balance of angst and solitude with the resounding joy that my kids were coming home again.

I’ve learned over the years that if we don’t learn to pause and center, it’s all for naught. The suffering, the opportunity for growth and empowerment, and the chance to let solitude have its way.

Don’t let it be for naught.

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