Living Alone

The Self Purifying Fire

The Self Purifying Fire

27 December 2014

There are some days when it hits me, hard:

No matter the quality of our work, or the lovers or children or partnerships we may enjoy; no matter the sense of connection and communion we can sometimes access in our best moments, there is an aspect in me which is utterly, ruthlessly, incontrovertibly alone in this world. There’s a certain depth of connection achievable in our community and interpersonal relations; that depth can be sublime and transcendent, and I rejoice in that! Beyond that depth though, we are on our own. Nobody can empathize their way fully into my own heart or self, nobody can truly know me 100%, all the way—it is entirely up to me to know myself, to find my own way, to evolve or stumble as only I can manage.

I actually do believe that there is an aspect of my eternal soul nature which is in truth always entirely bathing in the cosmic amniotic fluid of my pure oneness with all creation, with Sat-Chit-Ananda, the entire truth-consciousness-bliss radiant Love Soup that is the dynamic eternal silent still pulsing core of Life.

Yet at the same moment that my oneness with life is real and ultimately truer than anything else, there’s a shadow side that I live with here in the world of four dimensions: it may or may not be ultimately as true, but it sure feels true sometimes that at an excruciatingly deep level, I feel entirely alone. Starkly, harshly, bone-crushingly bereft of companionship or communion or cosmic succor just when I need that feeling of connection the most. Instead, here I am: twisting in the galactic breeze, just me and my thoughts and my broken heart, pleading for love, for healing, for communion. Jesus, sometimes it gets so lonely that I’d even settle, almost happily, simply for a little kind company, for God’s sake. This feeling in it alone part hurts, bad.

Maybe it’s rooted in something as basic as my all too human need for understanding, for acceptance of my whole being–not just the parts that are strong, or competent, or taking care of the people and the world around me. I love doing all that, and more—I love giving generously to people where I can, and throwing a great party, helping build and offer lovely environments where good things happen. I feel nourished in convening gatherings of depth and nourishment, embodying a strong container within which people can explore and access important healing spaces. I love singing devotional chant with people, and feeling the holy communion that lies in wait for us all in that sacred space. I love all this and more, basking in the radiance of this amazing natural world and creation.

But when I go home, I go home alone.

I’m not certain that there is a cure for this. As I age, I come closer to accepting my own self and nature, warts and all. This allows me to hide less, and self-reveal more. Perhaps by continuing to cast myself into the fire of truth, I might burn down the subtle, crafty internal walls that in spite of my desire for connection I seem to construct to keep people away—or, just as functional, keep them focused on a shinier, better-looking, more successful or integrated looking version of me than the one I fear lies deep within. Perhaps a commitment to that level of self-examination and egoic-self annihilation might eventually free me into the full communion with life that I seek.

I’m not sure I’ve found a better strategy yet. So I guess for now, on this post-Christmas dawn redolent with high and low emotions, I’ll simply keep singing, and self-revealing, and walking alone among my companions along this crazy journey called life. Anyway, I still feel part of me wanting to build those walls, so I reckon it’s time to throw a few more logs onto that fire.