[Western Wall,
  Jerusalem]George Herbert: "The Church-porch"

Day 13: Evening


By all means use sometimes to be alone.

Salute thy self: see what thy soul doth wear.

Dare to look in thy chest, for 'tis thine own:

And tumble up and down what thou find'st there.

       Who cannot rest till hee good-fellows finde,

       He breaks up house, turns out of doores his minde.  

          Of course use some time to be alone. Recognize and congratulate yourself: see what outfits your soul. Dare to look in your chest, for it belongs to you: examine what you find there. The person who can not rest until he/she finds company to enjoy breaks up the order of the house and turns his mind out of doors.

          A person who starves for conversation discards his own thoughts. He stifles the silence with noise and quietness with busyness. No one has to have someone to talk with all the time. Take some time to sort out your own thoughts from those around you. Consider the words of others before acting on them. If he has to have companions around him, he stifles himself. Although others may suggest, the final decision must be yours. You have to take the responsibility alone. If you need to be smothered with attention, affection or conversation, you will break up the order of your house, yourself and throw your mind into the gutter.

          Make some time to be alone. Get to know your own thoughts and concerns, problems and achievements. Set up some time every day. It can be just 5 minutes. Don't be afraid. At first your thoughts wander. Congratulate yourself; let this be one of those little things that you promise and keep. It will benefit you by letting you look at yourself and what is important to you. You can take an objective look, as if you are an outsider. Review your words and actions, and your motives. Consider what deserves priority and why you want to do this project. Plan to improve yourself and jettison the unnecessary.

© 1997 J. R. Arner

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