In the whole realm of human experience, perhaps the worst form of emotional pain is the pain of loneliness. Whether it be the loneliness of desertion, the loneliness of persecution, or even the loneliness of being misunderstood.
There are certain feelings, both joyous and sorrowful, that cannot be communicated, no matter how much sympathy and understanding may be present from a friend. People can identify to a situation, but the sensitivity of others has its limits. Perhaps you and I share the same tragedy from our childhoods. But, because our hearts and minds are wonderfully unique, even we could not fully understand one another’s pain exactly. This doesn’t minimize the value of friendships and relationships. But, each person must acknowledge that they tread a solitary path, and that path is often to submit to being misunderstood.
Blaise Pascal said, “the heart has reasons that reason does not know.”
King Solomon wrote, “the heart knows its own bitterness and no stranger shares its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10)
The day I gave myself permission to stop trying to get other people to understand every corner of my feelings was the day I felt the strangest and sweetest fullness of life. If you’ve ever had times of feeling depressed, you might easily get what I mean. This solution came from perhaps an unlikely place – God himself. The philosopher Saint Augustine described God as “interior intimo meo.” Get ready for what that means. I know you’ll just love it:
“Closer to me than I am to myself.”
What joy. What amazing relief to the complexity of sadness and loneliness. God could not be closer. He is closer to me than I am to myself.
The most reoccurring theme of my life is feeling alone. Having tons of friends, or even a husband, does not change it. Only Jesus. Jesus was in perfect unity with the Father and the Spirit. Until he wasn’t. He endured the worst pain of aloneness anyone has ever felt by dying in my place, descending to hell, and being apart from the Father and Spirit. I will now never have to be alone again.
For many of my readers, this may be the first spiritually-related post you’ve read by me. Much of my content (and life) is about cooking and decorating, but it is not what defines me. I hope you enjoy thinking about an occasional question on God as you come across it on this blog. Thanks for reading. Love, Rach