When we are still and listening for what God, our bodies, our thoughts, and our souls are trying to communicate to us we begin to heal. “Be still (or let go) and know that I am God” psalm 46:10 is a call to be present with God and ourselves in the moment. When we take time for solitude and stillness things that we subconsciously avoided come into our consciousness and can begin to heal. Science has proven that we become more creative and less reactive in our responses to stressful circumstances when we practice mindfulness, stillness, or meditation. The collective experiences of 1000s of years of multiple faith traditions is justified by this scientific research https://askthescientists.com/brain-meditation/
Many people view this as exclusively an Eastern religion focus but Quakers, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and many Catholics focus strongly on these disciplines. The Bible does as well. In the life of Christ (retreating to be with the Father), the psalms (He leads me by the still waters), and the prophets (hearing God in the still small voice) we see this pattern if we look for it.
Isolation however is a sign of progressive mental illness, addiction, and poor health in general. We are social creatures and we need connection in order to thrive. Whenever we see ourselves falling into a pattern of isolation or stuck in the middle of it we have to course correct asap.
So what the difference between solitude and isolation? Why is one amazing and the other deadly???
When we are in solitude it is a time to be in relationship with God, our mind, body, and soul. It is also a time to separate from life giving relationships with the expectation of returning to them. There is a balance to connecting to community and connecting to God and our authentic self. That is powerfully restorative.
Isolation on the other hand is avoidance period full stop. Its running into numbing behaviors, obsessive thinking, and a distorted sense of reality. It isn’t producing self awareness or God contiousness through stillness. Its creating noise and sickness to avoid God and self. It isn’t a balanced ebb and flow of community life into solitude. Its an avoidance of healthy relationships birthed out of shame or fear based in mental and Spiritual illness.
Finding God in the stillness and in community is the pattern of life that we see in Christ. If this is a new concept for you I will post some resources for you to check out below. My prayer is that you learn to be still and hear from the 1 who formed and loves you:)