I work a different shift than most of the world, so I am often sleeping while others are busy about their lives, and I am often awake when others are sleeping.
I have sometimes found myself with not enough time to learn all that I'd like to, or to read all that I'd like to read. I have found the internet to be very educational, and as a result, have loved its freedom. I love to learn, but I am careful about the topics.
In surfing the internet and joining discussion groups and forums, I have also met people I'd never have met any other way. I mean I have MET them, as in going to a meeting place and actually meeting a group of people I had been having conversations with for a couple of years. First time was near Notre Dame, where I met a few of the Catholic Stronghold group. From there, I traveled to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, working with a man I'd met online while staying with one of my friends, and taking care of first one, then a second girls' orphanage with needed dental care.
The last time was in DC, where I stayed with my sister's family, and went to the NRLC, and met another long-time online group of friends, including Jane Brennan.
I have 'spoken to' via emails some very famous people, and found them to be gracious, usually, and have even been told by some that THEY read MY BLOG! I have never been so honored as I was when my all time favorite author told this to me.
Yet, there are times when being up when the rest of the world is sleeping can be very ... sad. It can give one too much time to think. It can be very comfortable, as in 'alone'...or it can be very uncomfortable, as in 'lonely'. It is the 'lonely' that is heavy.
These are two VERY different things. One can be with a crowd, but be lonely.
These past weeks have been some of the most difficult I have had in a very long time, as I am not only contemplating (today's word is 'pondering' which drives me nuts) a huge life change, but actually in the process of making that change.... The decision was made awhile ago, so it is not an attempt to make any decision that causes me to feel sad and lonely.
It is powerlessness, and a release of dreams that I have had for a VERY long time. It is also, to a large extent the very fact that I AM alone at this stage of my life that adds to this, in many ways.
It does not make things less difficult knowing that, in fact, there are many good and beneficial reasons for having made this most recent decision.
One of those is that I am the logical choice to take the step that I am taking this month for life choices I have made in both personal and professional areas. A second is that two people who live alone will no longer be alone (remember-- 'alone' does NOT equal 'lonely').
But in the being alone sometimes comes the added discovery that YOU are an unwelcome burden to others in ways that you never dreamt possible.
And with that discovery...comes hurt. And into that hurt enters sadness and loneliness.
I am not one to let others know how I feel, and I am not one to cry very often. Part of that is that people often mistake real tears for 'self-pity', and try to 'correct' a person out of that 'trap'. Those who don't do that are often among those who remind you that YOU chose this life style, and YOU will just have to live with the 'consequences' of those decisions, even though 'they didn't work out for you the way you had hoped that they would'. Others just simply... well, you get the point, I hope.
Ah, but once in awhile, one just happens to be in the vicinity of someone who not only understands, but listens, and tells you that you have a need to cry, or a need to feel sad, for what you are feeling is REAL, and for very REAL reasons. A very real grief, perhaps.
I have tried to reach out this past week or so quite a few times. I have not as yet found consolation or understanding (at least it feels that way). I have, instead, found that I am a burden, and that things that are important to me are part of that burden. And I have found that it is very easy
- to ignore another who is a burden,
- to chide another who is a burden,
- to lay guilt on one who is a burden for things deemed to be unimportant by the burdened, even though precious to the one who is the burden.
I am relating to my mother tonight in some ways that I never did before. That feeling of loneliness, and being a burden to others is one that she has felt for a long time.
I have had other such times in my life, also. As a young wife, being deserted with three small children to raise alone, all of the responsibility, many joys, many worries, and little help other than a few 'miracle' type happenings when really needed (thank you, Lord!) Anyone who has been forced into divorce can easily relate to those times and feelings. That time in my life was perhaps the longest, hardest of all, but close to it, though for less time was being diagnosed with Colon Cancer nearly two years ago.
This time feels closer to the first than the second.
Please keep me in prayer for the next few weeks, and especially this one.
I know I am not alone, for He is always with me.
But even HE felt forsaken as He was on His Cross, and cried out!