One of my favorite Philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard once said this “Its in the presence of people, that I find my love of solitude. And, its in my time of solitude, I find my love of people.” I find this statement, as an introvert, remarkably true. Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his book Life Together makes wonderful notes about what it means to be in community. He points out that perfect silence brings perfect speech. As well, that a person who cannot handle being alone, ought not be in community. Yet, sometimes they need community to figure that out.
As an introvert, I know that I can spend all day alone, reading, listening to music and living in silence (which often brings me to wholeness). However, I know that as I grow more comfortable with silence, a voice within me, a message within me, a desire for intimacy moves me towards others. This balance between silence and community, between action and contemplation, reveals my deep longing for connection with myself (which is easiest for me), with God and with others.
As introverts, it would be easy to get caught up in our own thoughts. Yet, as I heard Richard Rohr once say “The head seeks the truth but the head also believes the lies.” This is one of the reasons we are called to community. To be loved, to be known and to belong. And, in community we can use our gifts of inner expression and teach others the gifts of silence.
As people, we need to learn how to move closer to one another. As well, to learn how to properly withdraw. This was the life of Jesus.