Myriad reasons bring us to this place of sordid emptiness; a vanquished state, not unlike the psalmist:
“For my soul is full of troubles,
and my life draws near to Sheol.”
— Psalm 88:3 (NRSV)
The spiritual life is affected regarding life and death much differently than the physical life is. We can experience spiritual life and spiritual death all in one day; even several times.
Feelings of isolation, of having been confounded, and to the point of being overwhelmed, in many different ways, lead us to desolation. This sense of loneliness goes beyond sublime numbness, as it takes us into a pain that insists upon reconciliation, but one we cannot often reconcile. Our capacity falls short of our need.
Why Do We Never Hear of Others’ Desolation?
It is a scheme of the devil’s to isolate us.
When we feel ostracised to all compassion, whether for a dry reaction from others to a failure of ours, or for some reason we feel of less recognised value—and these are just two ‘for instances’—we become desolate. And, as was mentioned above, such feelings of desolation may even be fleeting.
The trouble for us is we rarely hear of others’ desolation.
If only we knew the comprehensive pervasiveness of this problem, especially amongst spiritual people. If one-in-five suffer depression, such serious cases of the black dog, we can expect 20 percent of the population to be undergoing a calamity at any given time. That is a significant figure. In a city of 1 million, that is 200,000 people. In a town of 10,000, that is 2,000 people. Big numbers, now.
Many people hide what they otherwise feel. They feel like we feel; embarrassed for exposure. They don’t want to be revealed is the odd-man-or-woman-out.
Weathering the Immediacy of the Storm
Whenever storms break we anticipate them as best we can, and, getting into safe refuge, we stay safe for a better future day. And whilst we endure the storm we don’t imagine our storm being the only storm on earth at the time. There are many, and a plethora of varieties.
As we remind ourselves of the turn we need to take, in enduring the battering of the storm, we hold out for a better day. We restrain ourselves from wasting our emotional effort. When the sun comes again we can therefore be ready.
We feel forgiven for feeling isolated, confounded, and overwhelmed when we consider how common such feelings are. All over the world there are millions facing similar turmoil, and worse. We are not alone.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.