What right have I?
Seriously, all things considered, what right have I to be struggling? Especially when part of it is my own doing.
Recently I have found myself in a place I thought I had left behind. I felt that I had moved beyond the struggles and was this strong, independent woman boldly facing the world. And I am, but I’m not. Recognizing that has me feeling somewhat like a kaleidoscope. Dozens of color pieces scattered about with no form or design. A leaf on the water’s surface, tossed about with no control or direction. It is as if I am the yoyo on the end of the string, easily dropping but the trip up not so easy. Even though, the conscious side of me knows this is not true.
Is it a moment of remaining grief? Is it a bout of depression? Is it fear of an unknown future? Is it envy over the life I see others enjoying while I sit here, observing and longing for a difference? Which ever or what ever is causing the struggles, I stand here seeking a candle to bring light to the emotional darkness. I seek the armor of my Lord and Savior to be the strength I need.
There are times when the loneliness is like a flood, threatening to swamp this life and wash it away. I do realize that I have chosen to be somewhat reclusive. Staying home, partially to make sure I am here for my parents, but also because here is safe. To go outside that safe zone means taking a risk. To go outside and participate in any activity, means I am taking the chance of being welcomed or ignored, of being accepted or rejected. It is safer to stay hidden and alone, than take that risk.
Rationally, I do understand that we will never be accepted by everyone. The differences among us may create a barrier. I do not consume alcohol, those who do may fear I sit in judgement of their drinking. I do not. I tend to be very careful with my vocabulary and the words I use. I do not really enjoy course humor. I do understand however that others do, and that is fine. You do you, with that I have no problem. And yet, because that line is drawn, we may feel at times as an outsider, unaccepted and unwanted. As a youth, I felt at times as if there was a glass wall separating me from others, even family. I felt different, I felt alone. It has taken a while to gain a level of understanding and acceptance of my individuality, something that is an ongoing endeavor. The glass wall is gone, even as I work to set aside that fear of rejection.
I also choose to remain single. I have been a widow for just over five years. I dated a little, but felt uncomfortable and that the moments and individuals were not right. I have faced some comments over that, but I will not step into and be part of a wrong relationship. It isn’t fair for me or them. But sometimes, when the house is really quiet, when the lonely feeling is strong, I crave a strong embrace.
When my husband died, it naturally took a while to adjust, even though he being a long haul truck driver, was rarely home. There was the difference in knowing that he would never call again, he would never be home again, we would never fight over the cover or his watching television during the night while I needed to sleep, ever again. The house was not completely empty as our grown son still lived at home. He has recently taken to staying in a camper that he purchased just before Covid hit. Its parked beside the house, so he comes and goes constantly. Its at night, when he would still be watching television or playing video games giving sound to the house that is now missing. That gives the house an almost eerie quiet. A quiet that rests heavy as I walk through the house locking doors and turning off the lights. Therein lies that empty nest loneliness.
I do enjoy though the solitude and peace I find in nature. Whether that is on a mountain hike, or in my own back yard. There is a sense of calm and healing that can be found walking among the trees and listening to the birds around you. A long walk is an amazing way to find your balance, spiritually and emotionally. To walk and allow your heart and soul to commune with God will remove the weight that loneliness brings. I do find a strengthening in His Word: https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-the-bible-says-about-loneliness-and-how-to-overcome-it.html
In reality, I know that in this life, I am never really alone. As a child of God, He is always with me, His Spirit indwelling within. There are those moments when I stumble, when the dark tries to descend and hide His light, but He reminds me, He is with me, always and to the end of the age.
But, what about emotions? I mentioned several at the beginning while only covering loneliness. What right do I have to feel these struggles, when others are facing things so much worse than I? Am I wrong, to allow or to feel these things that may appear minor in the face of the major events going on around us in the world? Considering this question, I know we were created to have and be emotional. https://www.gotquestions.org/managing-emotions.html
I think, that as we experience the various emotions, we do two things. We draw closer to God, and we learn and grow. By this, we are able to help those around us because we’ve been there. We may not have walked in their shoes, but we have walked a similar path and have a greater compassion and understanding to share. So maybe, experiencing these emotions aren’t so much a right, but a privilege and a blessing.