A human life is one of the loneliest places in the world.
Most of us come into this world alone. And even for those who are twins, while you aren’t alone in the womb, you are very much alone when you come out. As infants, we’re scared, confused, and not even sure why we’re scared or confused yet, because even for ourselves, we can’t make sense of any of it.
As we go through life, we are often given the hope that perhaps we aren’t alone after all, through the cultivation of our most cherished relationships; our best friends, our parents, our siblings. Yet as we make our way through life, we do so only to realize that this semblance of safety and reliability is a façade.
We love as hard as anyone could love, and these people leave us. They leave us in relationships (more often than not,), they leave us on earth when they pass away, and we too, shall also leave this plane, our bodies, and our loved ones behind.
There is but one remedy for this situation.
It is gratitude.
When you go from, “Oh, my God… I am completely alone in my thoughts, ideas, aspirations, dreams, no one understands me…” to “I am thankful to have been given a chance to experience life,” there’s a huge mental shift that happens. Probably because the stark reality is that frankly, you could have been a grasshopper. But you’re an intelligent, rational, and amazing work of creation.
I’ve read before that certain cultures don’t experience this phenomenon the way we do here in the west. That people who live in tribal communities have a hard time identifying a sense of “I”, and that there is only a sense of “we.” They have no mature and developed sense of individuality, and certainly this has a profoundly different impact on one’s psychological development and view of the world.
But that’s not how we are brought up in the west.
We are brought up to celebrate and emphasize individuality, while denouncing and deemphasizing the tribal and communal aspects of who we are. And while this may seem like a grand idea, it comes at a great cost.
Extreme loneliness, especially for those who are keenly aware of their thoughts, and feelings.
The Buddha was fully aware of this, which is precisely why he admonished his adherents not to cling to this life. Because it is lonely. He referred to it as suffering.
I don’t want to ever pretend to be some kind of guru. There are plenty of other blogs for that. I suffer through thoughts such as loneliness, isolation, fear of failure, lack of love, just as much as anyone else probably does. I’m no guru. This post is meant to be more raw, more honest, more vulnerable. I don’t always have answers for people because I haven’t gotten all the answers myself. And I for one, nor anyone, ever will.
So, I suppose you could say in a roundabout way that this post is just a subjective rediscovery of an ancient revelation that has already been made by Buddha and other thinkers before that life is lonely and full of suffering and that one should not to cling to it. But that too was already an observation made by King Solomon in Proverbs.