“A life without a lonely place, that is, a life without a quiet center, easily becomes destructive. When we cling to the results of our actions as our only way of self-identification, then we become possessive and defensive and tend to look at our fellow human beings more as enemies to be kept at a distance than as friends with whom we share the gifts of life.” That was a quote from Henri Nouwen and his masterpiece Out of Solitude. Today we reflect on the benefits of being alone.
The Distraction of the Day:
How nasty would a song have to be to be removed from the playlists of major radio networks in Canada for being offensive? It’s a Christmas song. Find out which one at the end of today’s show and the lyrics that got banned.
Honoring News of the Day:
Israeli scientists have just developed a revolutionary new approach to regenerating and implanting any kind of organ without the human body rejecting it.
The researchers from Tel Aviv University are being hailed for inventing the first fully personalized tissue implant that is made from a patient’s own tissue and cells, rather than foreign sources.
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“In solitude, we can slowly unmask the illusion of our possessiveness and discover in the center of our own self that we are not what we can conquer, but what is given to us. In solitude we can listen to the voice of him who spoke to us before we could speak a word, who healed us before we could make any gesture to help, who set us free long before we could free others, and who loved us long before we could give love to anyone. It is in this solitude that we discover that being is more important than having, and that we are worth more than the result of our efforts. In solitude we discover that our life is not a possession to be defended, but a gift to be shared.” (Nouwen, Henri J. M.. Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life (Kindle Locations 137-142). Ave Maria Press. Kindle Edition.)
A carpenter and his apprentice were walking together through a large forest. And when they came across a tall, huge, gnarled, old, beautiful oak tree, the carpenter asked his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so tall, so huge, so gnarled, so old and beautiful?” The apprentice looked at his master and said: “No… why?” “Well,” the carpenter said, “because it is useless. If it had been useful it would have been cut long ago and made into tables and chairs, but because it is useless it could grow so tall and so beautiful that you can sit in its shade and relax.”
“When you are able to create a lonely place in the middle of your actions and concerns, your successes and failures slowly can lose some of their power over you.”
Ideas for creating solitude:
Morning Ritual. Wake up early and squeeze in an extra hour to think before work. This process can also give you time to focus yourself before the day.
Park the Car. If your house is busy, park your car somewhere quiet after work. This can guarantee you some alone time to think, read or plan out your goals.
Turn off the radio.
I will end with a lovely poem from Lord Byron:
“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more”
― Lord Byron
Distraction of the Day:
The offensive Christmas song.
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