I fear you more than death, for you are that which brings fear to death, to the end. The End? That depends on what you choose. And on what is real. I know what I believe about it. And right now, that means it is the end for me. Although an end would be much more merciful.
But this is not about death. Death would be nothing if it didn't factor in you.
How do I explain the mindless terror that strikes as I imagine you? How is it that you arrive at any time you will, coldly? How are you so inescapable? Is there no sanctuary from your dreadful grasp on my soul? How do you capture me even as I am surrounded by those I am loved by?
You follow me everywhere, closer than a shadow. Sometimes you cloak yourself, hidden for a time, but if I look closely, I can find you right where you were when I last noticed. You are manifest in my dreams. Is there nowhere I am to be rid of you?
Alone, alone, alone. It is a chant that echoes painfully through my heart, resounding in the empty halls of my soul. Its truth rings out undeniably. But how am I alone? How, alone, when I live with other people all around? In the midst of my family and closest friends, at times I still feel it; the loneliness. Like a disease I was born with. So far progressed, it is near impossible to be removed. No matter how many relationships I form with others, the feeling of "alone" still persists. If I search, I understand. Something is missing. Someone, perhaps?
I am unique. There is no one like me. How many times have we all been told that? It seems to be thrown at us endlessly at school, etc. I want to be special, I want to be me. With no one else the same. But how lonely, to be someone who is not understood by anyone else, because of my uniqueness, because of how different we are from each other. If we very completely unique we would all be very alone. And it is not just I who fears being alone. Do not most of us fear this too?
And yet, how terrible would it be to be just the same as everyone else? How boring? That is not a conceivable option either. Not for me.
Thankfully being unique does not entail being that different from each other. The way I see it, every different side of it, every different belief will be the same as at least one other person in the world, apart from perhaps minor details. But no one person will have all the same parts and ideas as another, we all have similarities to different people. I have "this" in common with so and so, and "that" in common with whatshisface. Both she and I think the same about "yada yada" and I share a mutual interest with, that girl, that one, you know...
I love this idea, that we are the same and yet completely different to each other. We think differently, act differently, experience different events, believe different things. But I think if we look closely enough, we could find something in common with us and every other person we meet. We all have emotions. We all have been hurt. We all, once at least, had dreams and ambitions, plans. We all have fears. We all have weaknesses. None of us are perfect. And I believe that in all of us, there is this emptiness, this feeling of "alone" that is crying out to be filled. We may not even realise it, it may lie hidden, but active. We may try to fill it with any number of things.
I believe all of us need relationships to thrive. I believe we all need love. Interaction is something we need. When we are hurt from relationships, we can become bitter and turn away. We can stop believing in love. We can run from love. But why do we do this? Because we have been mistreated by those who are supposed to have loved us, we have loved and not had a reciprocation of this love, we may have lost those who we love. In any case, when we flee from love, it is to avoid pain. But if we don't love, then that pain wouldn't be possible (I did say this recently). Whether we believe in love or not, it is there. Invisible, inaudible; you can't taste it or touch it, you can't smell it. It's indescribable in all it's many forms. And yet, it exists, regardless if you accept that or not.
"There is no greater gift than a place to belong. While it may seem that you're selling out to admit you need people, the irony is that you'll never really know yourself unless you're in a healthy community. We only truly come to know ourselbes in the context of others. The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity. ("Soul Cravings", Erwin Raphael McManus, "Intimacy: Entry #17 - Do You Know Who You Are?", I cannot be bothered with proper referencing kthnxbai)"
How could we know if we are selfish or generous unless around others? How do we know if we are self-centred, or kind to others? Who do we have to care about but ourselves? We are influenced by our families as we grow, we look at other people's values and beliefs about life to see if we find they agree with us, and either take them on board or dismiss them, deciding our own that are different. If we have no one to be different from, than we lose our uniqueness. We just are. Just one. We are the norm. We have nothing to compare and contrast against. We are alone. My soul cringes back at the thought of that.
"When we live outside of healthy community, we not only lose others, but we lose ourselves. ("Soul Cravings", Erwin Raphael McManus, "Intimacy: Entry #17 - Do You Know Who You Are?")"
When we treat each other with value, when we care for each other, when we love, we experience the presence of God. More powerful than any data or doctrine, love is the proof of God our souls long for...
"You cannot live without love, and you do not have to.
Yes, there is an insanity to love. You will go mad in pursuing it.
You will despise life itself if you do not find it.
Your soul craves love and will find satisfaction with nothing less.
You shouldn't be surprise that you look for love, you keep running into God...
Love can't be stopped.
Grief is proof that love prevails over death.
You cannot kill love.
I'm not talking about the pervasive counterfeits we often call love. But the kind that fables like The Princess Bride speak of -'true love'. The kind of love that lasts beyond life, that does not end in death, that fills you when you breathe deeply of it and wounds you when you lose it. Love is the most powerful force in the universe. God is love, and he is everywhere.
Love is the essence of the cosmos. Love is the ethos of God. ("Soul Cravings", Erwin Raphael McManus, "Intimacy: Entry 20 - Like A Kiss on the Face")
I don't want to be alone. I wasn't meant to be alone. None of us were...
So many questions.
Postscript - Apologies to those who dislike discussing love. ;p