When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone. – Tennessee Williams
I’ve been battling with loneliness this week. A relationship ending will do that eventually I suppose. It’s an interesting dillema for me, because there is a great part of me that loves to be alone, to have the time to think and accomplish what I want to accomplish.
But there is a part of me that misses the person that I am, when I am truly understood by another soul as well. I miss my own laughter, the sharing of affection, intelligent conversation.
The terrifying thing is being in the position that I am, where you don’t know where to turn to alleviate the isolation. I’m sitting precariously high on a fence between two worlds and no matter how hard I try, I find it impossible to choose one side over the other, and the chances of anyone being foolish enough to climb up beside me are less than none.
Some existentialist philosophy views aloneness as the essence of being human. Each human being comes into the world alone, travels through life as a separate person, and ultimately dies alone. Coping with this, accepting it, and learning how to direct our own lives with some degree of grace and satisfaction is the human condition.
However, other existentialist thinkers argue the opposite. Human beings might be said to actively “engage” each other and the universe as they communicate and create, and loneliness is merely the feeling of being cut off from this process.
Also, Buddhist philosophy argues that loneliness may be completely overcome by making authentic connections to other human beings, on an emotional level. Under this viewpoint, loneliness is therefore the opposite of the natural human condition; it then becomes the lack of action against a human system as constant as hunger or thirst. Loneliness becomes the lack of action.
There is certainly more I could be doing, but the results seem to always be the same…the inconsolable feeling of being utterly alone in a room full of friends, not able to communicate and understand each other on the most fundamental of levels.
So hermitting aside, I feel I must begin a quest. A quest of enlightenment, spiritual growth and understanding. It is the only way I will ever be able to come down from the fence.