For the first weeks following my husband’s death, I actually marveled at my freedom. As devastated as I was, I had been freed of about five years of suffering. Now as I rested, I realized how sacred life is even while it is destroying your ego. I saw that my aloneness was a form of extreme healing that was needed after a long pilgrimage into caregiving.
Ten years have now gone by. I value my solitude more and more. It is a sign that I have made it a good way up the mountain. For the higher you travel, the fewer people you meet on the way. You are going alone to the Great Alone.
The air is thinner, so you must conserve your energy for the last approach to the top of the summit. You may not ever make it, but that is of no concern, given your “true intent to be a pilgrim.”
Your standards are relaxing, for you have realized that no one else can go with you on this journey. It is not so important to be seen as to see. Everyone chooses when they will begin the ascent up the mountain of God and there is no turning back.
Winters seem long and little progress is made. There are landslides and swollen creeks of tears. The trekkers are few and far between. They may nod and smile at you but they must continue on, just as you must.
Isolation becomes a time for mending your tent and putting up supplies for the next leg of the journey. As your eyes begin to open, you are seeing the ground under your feet as spring arrives. You actually notice the tiny wildflowers arising in their effort to do what they came here to do.
Your patience with life may be growing as you see how helpless you are against yourself. You begin to sing little songs of praise and thanksgiving for God. You are learning how to breathe more deeply and slowly. And at some miraculous points you jettison your past.
You have lost your watch and there is only now. The loneliness has lifted to a considerable degree. And when a little bird lands on a nearby twig, he is singing only to you. And you see his clear blue coloring and his tiny yellow feet. And you remember how hard it was to sing even one note of a song.
The journey is tailored to each individual pilgrim and everyone has a team of angels and teachers. Although unseen, they can manifest when they are needed the most. But you don’t count on them. You just continue walking because that is your destiny this lifetime. You stop expecting yourself to arrive in mint condition. The mirror broke the same time as your watch and
now you must look for yourself in everything you see.
The upside of being alone is that you are forced to travel in your own company on your own time. And that is enough and more to complete the journey back home to yourself.
Author, Bigger Than The Sky: A Radical Awakening