Accepting Loneliness

Laura Basha


Photo By: Jeremy Bishop

 

The singing and dancing over, the Master took his seat and all sat around him.
‘Sir, how can one develop Divine Love?
Through restlessness – the restlessness a child feels for his mother. The child feels bewildered
when he is separated from his mother, and weeps longingly for her.
If a man can weep like that for God
he can even see him.’

 

– from The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna

 


 

Every now and then I would have to say that I suffer from a deep sense of loneliness. It used to haunt me but now it gives me pause to get quiet and reflective.

 
I have a wonderful life with many friends and family, and I have very good work that is well suited for me which I have generated over many years of training and practice. So there is no real reason for me to experience such loneliness.
 

For many years I thought that the loneliness had to do with others and old experiences and resulting patterns of abandonment. I am not saying that such experiences and patterns don’t have their impact. They do. But what I have been able to discern over time is that by paying attention to these old patterns I have actually cultivated them into an ongoing reality, re-creating them into having their own ongoing life, and re-creating relationships which prove the validity of being the victim of the perceived and actual losses.
 

In being willing to be curious about the loneliness, I developed a tolerance to actually be present with it, and I have come to see something. I can see that the loneliness is actually a longing for the freedom of authenticity, the grace of aligning with my own essence, a resonating call for self-acceptance and self-expression, such that I am bringing communion rather than looking for it.

 
There are some places where this is fulfilled, and I can speak from experience that the longing of mother for child and child for mother is certainly one place. Sometimes we are blessed to find it with another partner, and whole worlds of love unfold within and without.
 

But we can have that experience of whole worlds of love unfolding within and without, even if we are walking through life without a significant other. The fulfillment of such longing is actually a birthright, a realm which is equally everywhere present, permeating and penetrating and saturating all of the ethers. As we are willing to take a deeper dive into the source of the unrest, seeing the unrest as an aspect of longing, listening to it as a request that is preceding the fulfillment, we can resonate with the quietness and profundity and the peace of contentment.
 

The longing is the promise of fulfillment.

 


 

Let me tell you something. What will you gain by floating on the surface?
Dive a little under the water. The gems lie deep under the water; so what is the good
of throwing your arms and legs about on the surface?
A real gem is heavy. It doesn’t float; it sinks to the bottom.
To get the real gem you must dive deep.

 

– Sri Ramakrishna

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