There are experiences of extreme loneliness where, after we’ve done all we can, we just have to let time take us from where we are to where we need and want to be.
Many years ago, I hit a depth of loneliness that I never thought I would experience personally. I had been encouraged to do something I didn’t feel good about, and realized too late that they were wrong and I was right—I had made a huge mistake. I hadn’t sinned. I hadn’t done something that required repentance. But I had definitely made a huge error in judgment. I realized I had hurt others as well as myself, and that just added to my pain and absolute emptiness. I felt trapped, and I felt terrible.
It was during this time that I began to feel at least some small understanding of how someone might reach a point where they felt their only option was to go away—to leave. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and wishing I could disappear. It was an incredible thing to feel some compassion and understanding for people who had reached a point where they felt they couldn’t continue living.
One day during this very dark time in my life I was looking out the window and noticed a little boy playing in a sandpile across the street. For some reason I had a vivid memory of having decided somewhere during my late teens and early twenties that I wanted to become as a child. And I realized that it had been a long, long time since I had tried to connect with that part of me—the child in me.
So I grabbed a spoon and a couple of toys and walked across the street. “Can I play?” I asked. He looked up at me with a skeptical glance and asked, “Do you know how?” I said I thought I did, and he let me sit down and join in. We made roads and bridges and lots of truck and digging sounds. I remembered everything! It was a moment in time that I’ll never forget.
At some point in this hard period of my life, my mother, so in tune with my feelings no matter how far away I was, came to rescue me. She picked and packed me up, took me home, and helped me put the pieces back together. I learned SO much from this experience, including things about myself that I hadn’t known, or hadn’t been aware of.
This was an experience where I just had to let time go by until I was capable of “bucking up,” getting up, getting out, getting back to doing and being. The sun goes down, but it WILL come up again. I know it’s there, even on a cloudy day, and it seems to pick me up little by little as it rises and pushes away the darkness.