One of the lessons I seem to have to learn over and over again is to do with loneliness and belonging. I go through this cycle every now and then where I get so wrapped up in my own suffering that I feel utterly desolate and alone. miserable at feeling that way, and not letting anyone in, lest it should spoil my illusion of ‘alone’ and isolated self. I’m terrible to be around, even for me.
peace always finds me – through the felt-sense of belonging.
Often, we get so lost in our own stories and drama, that we often mistakenly think that this could be happening only to us. that no one can understand what we are going through. And in thinking this way, we successfully isolate ourselves from any help we can get.
and yet…we are not alone. it is a simple fact of life. we belong. here. in this life. with mankind. with people. and people care. they always do. they may not always say so (one reason being they don’t know about your/mine existential crisis! ) but they do. simply because that is how the human heart works. it cares for others around us. don’t you care for people, even if you don’t always say so ? I know I do.
It is easy to lose sight of the fact that we are all in this together. this suffering that torments us over and over again – is not so special – it happens to everyone. After carrying around a heavy baggage of despair, unworthiness, and endless cycle of thoughts that were not helping for about a week, I (involuntarily) broke down in my meditation group last evening. And a kind person said, ‘you know we care. we don’t stop caring when we leave this room. we continue to care’. I know this is true from personal experience. I care when I see people suffering. I may not always be able to fix it, but I do care.
Suffering is not so personal. its not about you or me. it is about the experience and how it connects us. what we do with the suffering we are given. it is about compassion. belonging and letting others in. about vulnerability and opening. dignity and courage. because no matter how much comes along, we stay present in life, standing our ground and experiencing it. and we only do this because we are not alone. we are in this together. and when we experience this sense of belonging, how can we not feel comforted in the face of suffering ? and then how can we not move towards comforting others ?
I write this to remind us, as we take this difficult journey together.
with love, S.