“Humanity has an essential function in the universe —
In the macro-micro ranges of the great design scenario and its realization in time. An intuition is dawning in us of the integrity and immorality of the individual. Awareness is terminable, but knowledge is eternal. Being aware and apprehending are temporal and terminable. Comprehending and knowing are eternal. Little children know this fact intuitively.”
Once, I had a friend approach me on the street saying, “I feel lonely, Paige.”
The adjective struck me like a chord, reverberating in and out of the chasm of my chest. Yet, unable to process the emotion, I leaned in closer to hear her story. The noise of the street corners homeless man circled in and out, like a quickened time-lapse, disrupting my attention. It felt salty and numb. I wanted nothing less than to acknowledge that I too was feeling lonely.
But it was more than a feeling of loneliness or isolation; those feelings were all too familiar and frequent. Realistically, it was fear – the homeless man in the background only emphasized these feelings. For, I have known what it feels like to have lost, battled, and been stuck in the chaos of humanity. And for all we know, those fears are just replaying memories of past experiences. Or experiences we have yet to understand but have potentially already lived. It is easy to get stuck in loneliness. Many times, my loneliness comforts me like a darkened sheet, that I can pull over my head and for a second to forget about my own existence (mind you, while I am amply avoiding doing my laundry for the third day in a row).
And in any right, it isn’t really loneliness we’re avoiding, but our resistance for change.
Why Change Produces Feelings of Loneliness
I feel very strongly about change. As teachers, educators, and professionals, we must believe in the efficacy & process of change-making. And so, when I feel lonely, I believe it is because I am afraid of change. As a therapist, change is a perennial principle to the practice of being and seeing others. I am no longer the person who had awoken this morning. I am something new because I made choices that either created or dismantled what I had already chosen in my life. This is why the process of learning is such a unique experience. Every book leads you to new books. Every set of records playing allows you to awaken to the noise of new songs. You listen to one post-rock classical percussion set, and you’ve now lost yourself in the music. There are thousands of possibilities: things to do, read, see and discover.
So in that, when we live our days in a grind doing everything we can to survive. Are we really who we are? Or are we what we are learning and what people told us through time we are?
It is easy to feel lonely when our world stops and we’re left with nothing else but the music of our own minds. In coming to terms with ourselves, we are faced with endless amounts of sheet music that is unwritten and unorchestrated.
Saint Exupery talks about love as love has never been dissected before – in the simplest of terms. He writes, “perhaps love is the process of leading you back to yourself.”
Maybe, that is all that loneliness really calls for. A simple decision to begin journeying back to who you are.
Saint Exupery – Wind, Sand and Stars