We are all connected. Yet, why is it that sometimes we feel utterly alone in the world?
A friend of mine who I’ve known for 16 years had a baby a year ago. She and her partner weren’t married and gave it a go. She sold her house and bought a larger one to shelter the new family unit. Smart, because stepping on top of each other in a tiny space can add to the stress of the new little one on the scene. Within a year, they split up. She asked him to move out and now they’re trying to settle on an amicable custody agreement without involving the courts. Good for them (not good they split up, but if they had to at least they’re saving lawyer fees to put toward raising their little one).
I saw my friend recently and she’s still working through the split from last November. Without all the stress, she’s tiny. With all the stress she’s now less than 100 pounds. To look at her, you can see the wear and tear on her. The circles are a bit darker, the wrinkles a bit deeper, the smile a bit shorter, the sighs a bit fuller. My heart ached (and still aches) for her as she talked about working at her full-time job, trying out a new childcare place, thinking about selling her new home to downsize, arranging child support, trying to convince her parents to visit their only granddaughter. The list goes on and on. Then, she turned to me and said, “I don’t know who I am anymore.”
Life does that sometimes. It turns us upside down and inside out, like a ferocious wave tossing us around as it storms toward the shoreline. Rough and tumble. I’m reminded of the vintage cartoonist Gary Larson’s “Cat Fud”. We sometimes feel like life lures us into the clothes dryer, shuts the door, and turns it on. Okay – tangential, yet brief diversion. An old friend of the family, Mrs. Collier, heard some loud thumping coming from the basement. She thought to call her husband, but he was a few hours commute away in New York City from their way-west suburban New Jersey home. So, she braved it after a few minutes and headed downstairs with a baseball bat in hand. She flicked on the light and realized the noise was coming from the dryer. As she opened the door, out fell her fluffy white and fairly dizzy Persian kitty cat. To ease the minds of all of us cat lovers, kitty was fine (a bit dehydrated, but fine). That was the last time he snuck into the dryer.
My friend is very strong and she has so many good friends that care deeply about her. Still, I can see the “aloneness” in her eyes. It’s not that she is “lonely”, but “alone” on her path. No one else will be that little girl’s mommy. No one else will live in her shoes today, tomorrow and into the future.
Perhaps more than hope is faith that’s what gets her (and us) through the curves and swerves and rises and falls of life. Even when we’ve seemingly lost faith in ourselves, we can have faith in a greater goodness, a greater love, a greater purpose that surrounds and nurtures us if we only let it.
Find a quiet place. Close your eyes and allow your mind to quiet a bit. Breathe deeply to the count of 3 in and 6 out with every breath. Then, ask yourself, “Where do I choose to have more faith in my life?” Watch what images come to you. Don’t analyze the images, but just notice them. Don’t ask how it will happen, but rather trust that it will happen. Something will happen. Breathe in the fullness of the soothing energy of faith. Come back to reconnect into that calming energy from time to time (daily would be great!)
Particularly in this moment in time, connect to the deeper knowing in yourself that is faith. Allow that which is love, that which is joy. Choose to elevate your thoughts. Choose to elevate your actions. Choose to elevate others.