you saw me standing alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love of my own…
How we dread loneliness and still it has inspired so much beautiful poetry, art, song, and literature! When we think of someone as being lonely, our heartstrings are pulled. Empathy floods us, as we realize how terrible it must feel.
I can remember a period in my own life when I felt so very lonely that it seemed as if life was unbearable if I couldn’t share it with someone. And when I look back on that time, what I really remember is how poignant that feeling was. No wonder it inspires the artist in us. When we dare express strong emotions like loneliness and grief, great art emerges, art that can touch the hearts of all the readers/listeners/viewers.
I think that one of the reasons for this, is that the expression of loneliness is really the expression of a much deeper yearning, a longing to feel connected to life itself. To feel connected to the deeper mystery that lies behind our daily lives, whatever name we give to it.
There is an existential aloneness that none of us can escape. Each of us is essentially alone, unique in our experience of life. We can avoid this feeling by focusing on our relationships, our children, our religion, our professional lives, or our social lives. And often we use these things to escape from this awareness of being alone. We dread loneliness in all its forms.
I think the best way to cope with this, is not to try and move away from the feeling of being alone but to move towards it. Don’t try to cover up or escape loneliness by distracting yourself. Allow the loneliness to pull you towards your deeper yearning – the yearning to lead a meaningful life, the yearning to feel connected to something bigger than yourself, the yearning to plumb the depths of your own capacity for expression.
It may lead you to new discoveries about yourself, who knows?
And my sincere apologies to my regular readers for the erratic appearence of the blog these days! As some of you know, I’ve been working on a book. Which is a challenging experience, to say the least, but it has proven very difficult to combine both types of writing. I will try to bring the frequency back up to normal soon. And I will keep you posted on the book!