C.S. Lewis famously stated, “We read to know we are not alone.” For those of us with a bent to putting words on the paper / screen, I think that is what we are trying to do to some extent. We are reaching out. Not just to have confirmation that we are not alone, but to give others the understanding that they are in a boat with someone as well, even if the seas are so dark we cannot see each other.
If you have followed any of my previous posts, there may have been a bit of a navel-gazing quality to them. I will admit to being a bit focused on my internal world the past several months. Some of that is my personality, being introverted and an over-thinker, (depending on the day or month, I oscillate between being an INFP and an INFJ on the old Myers-Briggs). Part of that is the drastic changes I have been making.
I have hunkered down, probably too much at times, trying to process and maybe find ways to protect new growth from the outside world that can feel so very overwhelming at times. This day and age is not as conducive to those of us who wear our hearts outside our bodies and who are trying to break from the old negative mindsets. Those with armor and negativity seem much better suited to navigating this thorny, angst-ridden time. Whether it is the lashing out like a toddler, of a supposed leader, or the mind-numbing ignoring of those who are more interested in lining their pockets, these make it so I don’t do well focusing outward a lot right now.
Thankfully, I am finding small groups of people who are interested in focusing compassion on each other and receiving it. I am fortunate to be located in an area, that with a little searching, embodies and proudly embraces the ideas of kindness and concern. Taking advantage of this is my goal, though again, moving outside the comfort of my sanctuary takes a lot of effort sometimes.
What would it be like if every person who read this, (small number though that may be…), actively searched for as many ways as possible to reach out to others in their world with hands outstretched and full of compassion? We read about how isolated many of us are these days, especially with technology, etc. making our worlds easier, but at the same time, with many buffers. What would it be like to stop for a few moments every day and think of someone that you had this inkling might be going through some things that were tough? And what if each took a moment to send an email, make a phone call, stop by, and say… “I’ve been thinking about you. How are you?”
I know, even in my times of quiet and fear, that bing of a text or email from someone saying they care, makes a world of difference, even if only for a few hours. Often, it can make a difference for much longer as I navigate the travails all of us are working along, worrying about survival, bills, care for loved ones, the day to day chores.
I write, as I’m sure many of you do, not only to process my experiences, limited though they may be, but also to hopefully let someone else who is out there know they may have a companion in feelings, experiences, life… For me, I am finding that there is nothing as precious as a sense of connection. A sense of knowing that while I may need much time alone, knowing I am not completely alone makes a huge difference.
So, while some of my posts may have seemed maudlin or too self-focused, please know my real reason for writing, beside processing things for myself, is so that someone out there might know that even in the midst of a time when you might feel low, down, alone, adrift, in the dark… I have been there and still experience days and evenings in this place.
And yet, I am finding some glimmers. I am finding, coming out of my year of turmoil and grief, the sunshine through the curtains is quite lovely. I see the colors of the fall leaves and they inspire. I feel the crispness in the autumn air and I notice my skin waking up. I laugh at the joke of another, even if we are miles apart in thinking or political views. I wasn’t able to do that before.
I hope this give some hope to someone out there, if only for a moment, maybe longer. If you need someone to walk with you through your valley of shadow, comment below and I will try and watch for the signs. If you know me in my RL, text, call, or come by and we can sit and chat. I will listen. I will listen and understand.
I hope we can each do this for each other. The world needs as much of this as possible…