So much loneliness in the world, you know? Not for me. I haven't felt lonely in years. I just keep meeting the lonely, seeing or hearing loneliness in others.
This loneliness I observe is the drowning kind. It's not about missing a friendly face. It's that overwhelming despair at feeling unseen, of knowing you are not known in the deeepest, most defining places of your soul.
"Broken windows and empty hallways,
A pale dead moon in a sky streaked with grey."*
Reflecting on the early years origins of such widespread, crushing loneliness, I find the connections among the Treasures of Trust, Independence, and Acceptance. The solid foundation of Trust paired with Independence is shaded by the roof-peak cap of Acceptance. Together, these three Treasures are both the cure and the prevention of this existential loneliness.
Think of it like this: With these three Treasures in your life, your two feet stand on a concrete pad made with the water of "I know the world has my back and other people, generally, are safe harbors of support" mixed with the gravel of "I know who I am, how I feel, and what I want/don't; I'm in charge of me." Feet firmly planted on these truths, you raise a roof over your head, capped by the feeling, "I embrace the NOW of life; I surf the big waves as easily as I float in a still lagoon."
Without that foundation to stand on, you are left with shifting sediment as your platform in life. Your unsteady footing cannot hold against the crashing waves of "shoulds" that drown the unique possibility of you -- all the "coulds" with which you were born. Soon, you furl the bright feathers of your brilliantly flying self, and learn to pretend to be just another fish in a school of conformity. Unseen for the beautiful bird you really are and so desperate to be seen as your true being, you may have trusted unwisely and been hurt--maybe over and over.
Eventually, you forgot about being a unique and brightly colored bird and just kept swimming, trying to stay afloat in a sea not of your making. Eventually, you stopped trusting others with the precious truths beneath your drenched and bedraggled plumage. The big waves crash over you, again and again. You are buffeted by life, rather than enjoying an exciting ride, with wind and seaspray in your face.
"Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles,
The frozen smiles to chase love away."*
The promise of the 7 Childhood Treasures, my promise to you from the Wisdom of Childhood, is that it is never too late to reclaim your true nature, avian or otherwise. It is never too late to rediscover for yourself and show the world your true colors. It is never to late to reclaim your Trust, and your Independence as an individuated self. It is never too late to learn that the wild surf created by others does not have to overwhelm who you are. You can learn now, no matter your age, to accept the waves with your body and let them carry you back to firmer ground.
"Bright before me the signs implore me:
Help the needy and show them the way.
Human kindness is overflowing,
And I think it's gonna rain today."*
*Lyrics by Randy Newman, "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.