Grieve With People

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We think of Jesus spending forty days in the desert, the Buddha waiting for enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, a hermit living on the side of a mountain, and it’s not hard to see how the idea gained traction that when you’re searching for answers the way to do it is by sectioning yourself off from the population, giving yourself peace, quiet, and solitude.

But there is a huge difference between the situations of these spiritual teachers and your situation right now if you are trying to make sense of profound loss. They were at the height of their spiritual powers, looking for even more when they actively chose solitude, whereas you are spiritually depleted and vulnerable. Solitude can quickly turn into isolation, into unbearable solitary confinement, making things worse not better, when you enter into it feeling spiritually depleted.

The unspoken hope is that time alone will provide the answers you need to move forward, but these answers lie in community and connection, not in cutting yourself off from community and connection. Being alone will only magnify your profound sense of being alone. Grieve with people, forge more meaningful connections, because this is the way to fill up that spiritual vacuum, not isolating yourself.