What do we have? What do we have, really, when it’s all taken away? What is left? What remains in the ruins of the things that once were ours but now elude our grasp?
The thought is daunting. The idea that the world on which we lean and the things around which our lives are built are temporary. Fleeting. They will pass. Not just things but people. Feelings. Thoughts. Moments. Dreams and hopes. Disheartening perhaps. That’s what it is. Peeling back the outer layers is painful, and what’s more, it exposes the shell underneath. For that is all that’s left. This tiny forlorn shell that is self. All we really have and all we are.
I’m not trying to be unnecessarily negative. I’m not trying to be realistic either. This tiny shell to me is full of hope. In fact, this shell is truth. It is not hollow and it cannot be shaken or broken down. When all the cloaks which cover it are stripped away, the shell can be stripped down no further.
This shell is something that I’d like to call the core. The core of who we are, in the deepest centre of our selves. The good that graces our lives, in the form of friends and family, fortune and fancy, in all that is good and is pleasing, comfortable and safe- this good weaves around our core, speaks to it, protects and keeps it company. These good graces are, in fact, good. I don’t think it’s wrong to seek them. I think it would be worse not to enjoy them or to appreciate these flashes of beauty, because they have been given to us, an image of the Beauty we dream one day of seeing.
But life is full of things that are not good. And these things pick and plague and pull and take a toll and wear down good’s pure surface. Good claims the final victory, but there have been times and there
always will be times when it seems the good is stripped away. The pieces of peace that were patched around the core are ripped apart and leave us open. Vulnerable. Bare. Alone.
What does it mean to be alone? I’m not sure, because I don’t think I ever have been. I’ve felt alone.
I’ve felt alone so often that I’ve confused being and feeling, that I’ve fused the two states into one, forgetting the all-important distinction between them. Feeling is not being. Feelings pass. Being- who we are- is the core of all that we were made to be and this is more than feeling. The core cannot be destroyed and it is never truly alone, because whenever all the good has been removed, there is still good within us that lives on.
This good will always stay within the core, because it created the core and it is a part of the core as integral to it as its very fabric. Perhaps nothing I’ve said here is making very much sense. But what I really mean to say is that earthly pain and earthly sadness may hurt you but they cannot break you, because what you have does not define you. Who you are is at the core of your being, and this can never be taken away from you, no matter how hard things may seem or how alone you may feel.
At the core of your being, you need only one thing, and that One thing is already inside of you.