Last time I wrote, I spoke about the deep loneliness I was experiencing. I expressed my longing to talk about it with others who might be able to relate to what I was experiencing. It was a ‘crying out in the wilderness’ kind of call accompanied by a strong need for connection. But my cry was met with silence – deafening silence. It is so interesting to me that silence can have a weight to it, a denseness that feels like a sack of flour getting heavier and heavier; like a vast canyon deep within that echoes itself back into itself, where the dense, damp air clings and bring goosebumps to the skin. That’s the kind of silence and loneliness I walked through. Somewhere in the midst of it all, I realized I couldn’t run away from or try to push away this loneliness. I’ve tried that before but it only re-emerges stronger than before. I knew I finally needed to sink into and make friends with the darkness. So that’s what I did.
I began by just allowing the feeling to surface, resisting the urge to push it down or distract it away. I let it be my companion, day after day. At times, I even entered into conversations with it to better understand what it had to show me. I found it really interesting that I was suddenly drawn to poetry and the writings of the mystics – it’s as if the poets and the mystics spoke the language of this darkness, this hollowness, giving it shape and form. I found much consolation and companionship in these writings. My contemplative practices drew me more and more into that space of deep silence and loneliness and into deep rest. And there Presence met me. There I gazed into the Indwelling Spirit and was gazed upon in return. The silence and deep loneliness no longer felt a burden but a gift. It became space I didn’t want to share but hoard instead. It’s like I discovered that priceless gem the Scriptures refer to and I was ready to sell everything I had to keep it!
I don’t know if any of this makes sense – I feel like there aren’t the right words to explain. I can only say that the encounter with Presence and receiving that Divine gaze was a pivotal moment on my journey, like my own resurrection out of the depths. I still feel the place of deep loneliness but I now know it is a safe, secure place were Presence can be known. I’ve come to understand that only Presence can meet me there, it isn’t space that can be accessed by anyone else. It’s become a place of deep knowing or maybe being known and loved, of unconditional, complete acceptance. Just this little taste has enabled me to live these days without much fear or anxiety, in spite on the continued disturbing news about the effects of Covid-19.
So if you are in the midst of this struggle, hang in there. If you feel the desire to talk through what you are experiencing, I am here to listen. Only you and Presence can uncover answers but sometimes it helps to speak it into safe space. I would be honored to hold that space with you.
Kelly is the Director of A Place To Be Spirituality Center. Here she shares her thoughts and reflections about life, family, God, spirituality and whatever strikes her in the moment. We hope something here resonates within your own spirit and that you will share. Enter into the conversation, share your story, join the family of A Place To Be, a spiritual home for seekers wherever they are on their journey. We look forward to getting to know you!