There is a desert all of us have to go through. Sooner or later, we all have to forage through this one particular desert: loneliness. We fear it the most because it’s not out there, it’s here, within. Deep down, most of us are lonely. We will continue to be lonely. And we can’t seem to find our way out of it.
In spite of all the technology of today’s world, there’s no single iPad, iPod, iPhone that replicates the wealth and maturation of another heart. For those like me, who traveled here there and everywhere, technology kept me connected. But once the gadgets were off, I was left alone in some hotel room, some lonely beach, walking distantly while looking at the nighttime grandeur.
Some say loneliness is part of the reality and nuance of being human. Yet every human being has the experience. In fact for some, it is one of the most profound experiences ever known. And we are so afraid to admit it. We push the acknowledgement away. We fear even to simply acknowledgement our fate, as if there is some weakness within our humanity.
We are so terrified to experience it that we fail to understand life’s countermeasure and gift for it: Love. What makes loneliness dangerous is our universal fear of it. Sometimes we are afraid of its truth while other times we dare not look.
We become so over-dependent in others, we kill love, possessive and convincing ourselves, “I will not be ok without her.” “Oh Lord, she’s my Messiah.” “He’s the person I can find love with forever.” Think I am wrong? Well, here’s an entry from my dairy:
“I fully grasp what made working there special … It was Her. She allowed me to touch God and experience faith in such uncommon ways. Even now, the more I hold onto her memory, the more active Christ is in my heart and in my life. She was what life can represent and she continues to teach me something about who I am, where I am going and to whom I belong.”
As a Buddhist, rather than fear loneliness, when it comes forth greet it, and query “What do you want me to learn?” By doing so, loneliness becomes a teacher; an ally. For on the crucible of loneliness lies a doorway unto God’s love and direction. Be embracing our loneliness we find the true nature of both the divine and humanity. Through it, we discover empathy, we live and understand love, we can grow in community, and we can know God.
I also understand that that my greatest love and God are forever linked. My loneliness actually strengthened the power of love. And now, this reality can never be separated. In truth, a simple man like me could only enjoin a spiritual trinity of blessings while loving both her, her community, her ministry and embracing the loneliness that swam around me.
So as I move forward, I continue for another spiritual partner. I want a faith of accountability and to continue in developing the gifts given. I want the unity of life between spirit and love, yes … the very same gifts I forever lost in former years. I want the power of love, witness and outreach, the attentiveness to the movement and the touch of a lover’s heart.
This journey of love and loneliness belongs together. They cannot be separated. They are the ying-yang of humanity. But it could not have been found until I found my own willingness to embrace loneliness and honor my own vulnerability. And when I did, the gift of recognizing true love poured forth.