I’ve always liked having time for myself, to do what I want and just enjoy my own company. During those times, I often feel a creative urge to write, to compose or just listen to music and daydream. It’s true that being alone is where magic happens.
Having said that, I have been more alone in the last few years than ever before – a bit too alone. So many heartaches have hindered my capacity and desire to socialize. I used to think that when I was older, life would become more gentle; that because of the attainment of hard won wisdom, I’d be a loving, grounded and enlightened elder. I never imagined that I would experience so much pain and loneliness in these latter years and that I would find myself flailing and experiencing a bottomless sorrow.
There are days I simply cannot summon up the optimism and hope I’ve spent years cultivating. I’ve been diligent in my practice: I am aware of my thoughts and work on improving my state of mind. I work at forgiveness, compassion, optimism and finding purpose. Then, one day, unexpectedly, I experience a lack of energy and a recurrent, pervasive sadness. What happened to all the work I did to manage this kind of melancholy and despair?
I am finding that after so many years of juggling my emotions and working at mindfulness and positive thinking, I’m rather weary. Any stress I experience seems to affect me to the point of extreme anxiety and a bone heavy exhaustion.
The thing is, after so many years of living in exile from my son and my grandchildren, I continue to mourn. It’s a bereavement for the living that never ends. There is no closure, no comfort in grieving for those you love but who don’t seem to love you. Yet, still I grieve.
I have learned precious lessons. I’ve learned to let go, to forgive, to detach, to go on with my life. But, if I’m honest, I am war-torn. I have been at war with myself for so long that I wonder if I will ever find real peace. The past haunts me, the future unnerves me and the present is, at least at this moment, difficult.
Tonight, as I write this, I can find no ease, no consolation. But, like everything, this will pass. I will get a good night’s sleep perhaps, or laugh out loud, or take a walk on the beach.
And I will begin again.