So many of us, even those who are not typical misfits, often feel misunderstood and alone alone despite the number of people we surround ourselves with.
Within us all, deep down, there lies a hard, faceted core, untouched, unseen, and grown lacklustre over time, sometimes even forgotten by ourselves.
Charles Dickens (a fellow INFP) wrote a quote which encapsulates this phenomenon quite perfectly:
“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this.”
For it is true: only we know ourselves best, only we know exactly what it is like to be us, to have gone through our particular set of experiences with our particular personality, point-of-view and consciousness.
And we are all different, even if we do share similarities. There are over seven billion people in the world, each of them with their unique aspirations and dreams and lives. The sheer complexity of the morass of humanity is marvelous to ponder.
However, the immensity of the human population also means that, unique though we may be, there are always going to be people out there who understand and can relate to facets of yourself.
For instance, one person might know exactly what it is like to grow up with a cold and distant father as you do, even though their personality or life experiences might be markedly different. Another might share the same MBTI personality type, and though they might not know what it’s like to grow up with a neglectful father figure, they can understand your particular thought processes and the way you react to life.
So, in truth, even though we feel alone, we are not. Whilst mired in suffering, take comfort in the fact that somewhere out there in the world, perhaps even back in time (or even forward!), someone wept tears of despair at their table just as you did, their chest boiling with misery.
No matter how terrible your life circumstances are, I can guarantee you someone else has felt the same way, experienced the same thing; someone else out there also got evicted from their house, watched loved ones murdered before their eyes or lost hope in life to the extent of wanting to end it, once and for all.
Many circumstances are also universal, in that everyone encounters them in life sooner or later. They are the grey shades of existence: death, depression, frustration, betrayal, existential crises, grief, humiliation, oppression, inequality, etc. This is why poetry is so compelling, as it often speaks to the underlying current of what it means to be human and experience these varied shades of living.
And in turn, each of us have to come to terms with how we will spend our one little life, how will we will face death without regret – and if we do not face them, time still passes, and the day will come when it all ends, regardless.
I do think that artists have the advantage here when it comes to dispelling feelings of isolation. For whenever the urge comes upon artists to shriek out from some rooftop to the universe, “See me! Understand me! Care for me, care for me! Please don’t let this world hurt me too much!” they simply pick up their paint brush or pencil or chisel and pour every drop of their despair into a work of art.
That work of art has then the potential to exist long after the artist is dead to soothe the hearts of posterity who feel similar emotions to the ones that surfaced in the creator’s bosom while making it. Thus, the pain of obscurity is then transformed into something productive and healing.
After all, how many of us have, in reading a book, stumbled upon a line or phrase which speaks to us like a second heart of our own, pulsating from the page? You see! In that moment, the writer was in pain. She wrote about that pain, and now you feel less alone for it, so many years later. She understood you. What more could we ask for from existence than for the alleviation of this quiet suffering and to alleviate it in others?
When I think of the quietly suffering souls out there in the world, desperate for a kind touch, a hug, a whispered phrase of “I know”, I cry. It’s stupid but – no, it’s not stupid; I won’t start internalising society’s concepts of weaknesses. It just shows that I care. My heart melts a little, both painfully and happily, like candle wax. I wish I could reach out to you all and tell you that I am there for you, that I care for you, because you are an expression of this universe just like everything else, and worthy of love and happiness.
Doing things which alleviate the loneliness in the world is my single goal in life. It is why I write stories and books (or try to). It is why I write on this blog. It is why I live. It is the reason I exist. Because I have felt loneliness, I have felt misunderstood, deeply and keenly, and I want to soothe that same pain in others. You are me, I am you: we are each other, but we can only experience life one at a time.
To help others, is to help ourselves.
It’s a big, fucking scary world out there. I hate it, a lot of the time, I really do. Most days, I just want to curl up in some corner of the library and never come out. I hate the way people ruin things, pollute things, hurt things. I hate indifference. I hate selfishness. I hate it all. It makes me want to puke, vomit, scream, though my lips stay quiet, silent, like the folded wings of a dead butterfly.
But there are good things, too: a glimpse of autumn leaves fluttering like a mass of tiny dancing fairies in the wind beneath an overcast sky; an odd, little old lady tottering down the street with a big smile on her face, oblivious to the cars and skyscrapers. Despite it all, there is a certain sweetness to life. I like that.
In truth, I’m desperate for authenticity, for realness, just like you. I grasp desperately for flesh and blood, tired of the smooth surface of plastic and outline of wires, desperate to see eyes that blink, eyes that cry, hearts that pump.
My recent embarkation of my journey towards becoming a life coach is a way for me to soothe the loneliness and pain of others, to help them overcome their problems whilst feeling fulfilled in return. I want to cradle beautiful, pulsating hearts delicately in my hands, nourish them with the love that resides within us all, to reject the superficiality that coats our world and replace it with authenticity. I want to be someone who opens up her heart on the phone to a stranger in return for glimpsing the soul of another, a spiritual, symbiotic relationship.
Of course, I’m scared. I’m not the best with phones (usually I treat them as one does a cockroach when they ring) and oftentimes experience a great deal of anxiety picking them up. But if the person on the end was as sweet as some of the people who have commented on and visited my blog, I don’t think I’d be scared for long. And I have a powerful reason to overcome any qualms.
We are all lonely. We can spend our lives helping others feel less lonely, and in turn, feel less lonely ourselves. There is no better way for humanity to pass the time, on our lonely, little blue dot.
Frankly, I just wish I could tuck you all in bed by first reading a bedtime story, singing a lullaby and then turning off the light, leaving you feeling warm and safe and assured as you drift off to sleep. Is that creepy? Oh, I don’t care; this sentiment comes from a place of love, and that’s all that matters.