By Russ Havens
The big push of society, both straight and gay, is to couple-up, whether by marriage, civil union, or living together. Society provides inducements to do so, as well as negative images and tones of voice for the dreaded alternative -- "alone." Nevertheless, many people continue to discover, whether purposely or by default, that living alone -- yes, even living a hermit life -- offers many benefits, including the opportunity to nourish one's creative and spiritual life.
There is an interesting article on the Newsweek site about Agnes Long, a woman who moved to an isolated area of Wisconsin where she lives -- alone, as a Christian hermit.
Many organized religions allow such living and some even encourage it.
One needs to have one's wits about one, as well as the resources, both monetary and life skills. Living a solitary life, obviously, isn't for everybody. But, by the same token, living with someone else isn't for everybody either.
Some people find themselves living alone more by circumstance than by choice. Maybe giving some thought to our circumstances, instead of rejecting and fighting them, would result in us relaxing from the social pressures and actually enjoying the solitude. It doesn't mean we must live an isolated life, nor does it mean we must follow someone else's pattern of what it means to live alone, or even what it means to be a hermit. Here, as in every other aspect of our spiritual life, we can find our own way.
Perhaps it's time for us loners to lift up our heads, to consider that all that yearning for Prince or Princess Charming might be better re-directed to finding what Alone is really all about.