It’s always been there. But with the COVID pandemic it’s much worse. It’s one thing to come home to an empty house or apartment. It’s another to be trapped in one for a good portion of a year, and to be deprived of hugs and close contact as well.
If anyone’s feeling overwhelmed by that giant silence they’re in good company. But in all of that empty and bottomless darkness is also a glimmer of something meaningful. In fact, were it not for the darkness, we may never even see this light.
To understand what we are experiencing we must first understand that the darkness itself is like a holding space for our agony. Instead of space, it is more like a swirl of black crows, so tightly packed together that they appear to be a solid mass of whirling darkness.
And in our headspace, what is it that creates those crows of darkness? Our thoughts. It is only our thoughts that turn peaceful solitude into that swirling, agonized loneliness.
Many people read Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now. In it he talks about his own crucible moment. It is literally the official Introduction of the book. He was so separate, and alone, and agonized, that he was contemplating suicide.
That’s when Eckhart said, “I cannot live with myself any longer.” After which he was struck with the thought, ‘am I one or two? If I cannot life with myself, there must be two of me: the ‘I’ and the ‘self’ that ‘I’ cannot live with.‘
After that all he had to do was to realize that the thing asking that question was the real him, and the agonized version of himself was his ego and thought-created ‘pain body.’ It was made only of thought. Because when that thought ceased, he found the Power of Now rising up within him.
The important thing is to not see people like Eckhart, or me, or Wayne Dyer, or Sydney Banks, or any of the other people who have taught others about reality, as being different from you. If you do, that belief will act as a barrier because you will not feel that this universal truth belongs to you when in reality it does.
Loneliness is filled with head-talk. Quality alone-time is silent. Our ego-shadow outputs words from us, to us, in a crazy cycle. Our peaceful self can sit in silence, taking in the universe, and feeling more connected as a result.
It’s almost as though we shift from a biological ‘me’ identity that needs to discuss itself to exist, to a more physics-based self that is pure energy, connected to all of the energy around us –similar to the shift Jill Bolte Taylor spoke of experiencing during her stroke.
Our connection to that energy allows us to access the wisdom of our connected selves, all while giving us power by removing our internal thought-based resistance. And in releasing us, it also allows all of our tension to radiate outwards, to be accepted into the larger whole, which thereby provides us with greater peace. When we find this peace, it is like we are being held in the arms of the entire universe.
Do not see the agony as loneliness as being further away from clarity and peace than when we’re feeling better. The truth is, we are all always only one thought away from that peace. And if anything, sometimes the extent of the darkness we’re experiencing is exactly what allows us to find the light.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.