How To Go From Obsession To Peace In 24 Hours

June 23, 2012 at 8:58 PM

“I sat there under a tarp trying to find reasons to justify going home. Reminded me of the inner debate when struggling with staying on a fast.”



  • Tent
  • Ground sheet
  • Sleeping bag
  • Tarp
  • Warm clothes
  • Rain suit
  • Food
  • Water
  • Camp stove
  • Mess kit
  • Lawn chair
  • Bible
  • Laptop or writing pad and pen


Explain to friends and family that you need some time alone. Find a camp ground where you can pitch a tent, preferably on a rainy weekend. This will insure some degree of solitude. Pack your car in spite of how you feel. Go. Once on your site, you will feel like leaving. Don’t. The feeling will pass. Turn off your cell phone. No radio or music. Get your site set up. It will only take around an hour. Just for morale sake, if you are setting up in the rain, I suggest getting the tarp up first so you have a dry working area. 

After the campsite is set, sit down and take some deep breaths. Again, you will be tempted to leave. Don’t. The quietness of trees, sky and sound of rain on leaves will seem far away, but give yourself an hour or so, the medicinal effect of the natural beauty will begin to take its effect. Once that happens the desire to leave will wane, and then you will re-enter into that familiar place of peace. 

Why is camping alone in the rain something like fasting? It’s not because fasting is a cold, miserable business. You are removing the comfort-props just like fasting, making yourself vulnerable to those obsessive fear-based thoughts that all bad decisions are rooted in. It’s a reminder that “naked we come into this world and naked we return,” and that’s not something to run from but embrace. 

No internet, no cell phone, no TV, music or canned conversation, and completely out of control of my environment. Just a chair, tent and tarp, and an obsessive mind struggling to still itself so a wide, green world can come back into focus. The transition is less an embrace and more like a muddy tug-of-war between two opposing forces. I sat in my camp-chair feeling depressed, fearful of what the next 24 long hours would hold for me. I sat there under a tarp trying to find reasons to justify going home. Reminded me of the inner debate when struggling with staying on a fast.

What if my tent leaks? This is bad timing. There are things I need to tend to at home. I’m running away. This was a dumb idea. It’s raining out!

Instinctively knew even before packing, I would have to deal with these inner dissenting voices.  But I also knew once through that emotional blockade, there would be freedom.

It takes hours into the first evening, but it always comes, often gradually, sometimes suddenly. Then, there it is. Trees, sounds of wind and birds come back into focus as obsessive fears ungrasp my mind, popping out of existence because, really, they never existed anyway. But the trees do. So does the birds and wind. And so does God. The desire to run away is replaced by a hunger for stillness. Just staring into the campfire suffices. Or leaning back in my gravity chair and watching the animated trees above my head. No pharmaceutical company could have devised better medication for an obsessive mind than this.

Send me your solitude stories at or add them to the comments area below. If you connected to this, then read: Fasting And Solitude


Posted in: Breaking Obsession


Comments (2) -

Canada rlagerquist says:

I dedicate this post to Tanya, who gave the gift of tears after I read it to her.


Canada Tanya Desjardins says:

A step by step guide on how to find peace & reconnect... Love it!


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