I am shivering in the dark.
I don’t know where I am.
I don’t know how I got here.
I don’t know how to get back to the place I was.
I don’t know where you are,
Or how to get to you.
I only know I feel alone.
So very, very alone.
Something brushes past me, and I hear a whisper, but I’m so afraid that my eyes are tightly shut. So I draw back in fear of whatever it was. I’ve been hurt before by things I couldn’t see coming, so I pull away. Suddenly, the fear in me turns into panic. I begin frantically groping for you in all the usual and unusual places. All I need is a touch from you to know I’ll be okay, but I can’t see you. Something brushes past again sending me into hysterics. What was that? I draw in tighter, closer to myself. Whatever it is, it’s sure to be malevolent, so I must draw back. Tighter and tighter I close my eyes in fear.
If you are like me, you’ve felt it. The panic. The only thing worse than feeling alone is the sudden aloneness that you feel when you thought you wouldn’t have to be alone again. The “I trusted you’s” come flooding to your mind. Whether your aloneness is a feeling of disconnect from a person, from life, from whatever. Recently, there are times when it is my creativity that leaves me feeling abandoned. There are times when everything is flowing, and inspiration is around every corner and in every turn of phrase. The nearness of this beautiful friend gives simultaneously the sense of sanctuary and sincerity, and freedom and abandon. But creativity, she is sometimes slow and subdued. She will not overstep the distractions that command your attention, and for a creative soul, there is no greater fear than that of never creating again.
There are times when this feeling comes from a sudden betrayal, real or perceived, from a friend or loved one. The sense of abandonment at a sudden lack of communication or a misunderstood conversation. Ah, the insecure artist. Must I be so cliche’? Must I waver so quickly between heartbroken quivering, and false bravado and indifference? People will be people, and sometimes life gets in the way, and I know these things, but when people are people and life gets in the way, my insecurities flash red-hot and threaten everything.
Finally, in a moment of desperation for some sort of sign, I sit. I quiet myself and search for a still place within. Hush. Breathe. Slowly, deliberately breathe. My pulse is lessened, my heart begins to reassume it’s normal, measured rhythm. As the fastness of my tightly closed eyes begins to slacken, I begin to sense a light. Opening my eyes and myself cautiously, I realize that it was there all along, and you are there by my side. You’ve gently tried to touch me and pull me from my terror, but I would not…could not feel you. All I could feel was danger and fear. You never really left. You said you wouldn’t, and you didn’t.
One day, I will realize that, although people will be people, not everyone is evil. While there are those who hurt me in the past, you are not them. Sometimes, those who hurt me don’t even mean to, and if they only knew, their hearts would break, and they would care, and they would work to mend and repair. One day I will realize that I was created for creativity and communion, and my fear only serves to hinder these things.
Ah, this learning to trust again is a difficult journey. I am learning that I cannot blame all those in my present and future for my past hurts. I am learning that sometimes being secure, means trusting myself to be strong enough to trust others. I am learning that my creativity, my gifts, my friends, my loved ones may be with me for seasons, but their absence or my fear, does not mean that they will not return, or that their love is gone forever. I am learning that security doesn’t mean indifference or distance from things that matter, it means finding peace in the face of fear.