It may come as a shock to a few and evoke vehement denial by others, but the truth is, companionship brings us most happiness. Friends and family. A soulmate? Not the job. Not the corner office. Not a 20-inch waist or 15-inch biceps. Not the Beamer. Nay the apartment with a view. And, no, not flourless, sugar-free chocolate lava cake.
And, yet, many of us return home alone. Perhaps, to the said molten chocolate? Still many others return to family but essentially feel alone. In fact, the full house - wife, parents, children, staff, dog, and then those weekends with extended family - accentuates the emptiness. You aren’t lonely. Loneliness is a complaint. It seeks resolution. You are merely resigned. Life does not accord everything. You have success, dependents, lofty responsibilities - and that’s good enough.
But you feel alone. All you have, everyone, cannot keep you warm...
This even as those, whom you believe are alone, very often are not. Those you tch-tch in the elevator the single woman who struggles to park her car; the never-married CEO lugging grocery; the elderly couple who seek their grandkids in the building’s tots…. Yes, all those. They may not necessarily be alone.
Alone is not a physical state. It’s not marital status. Not parenthood. It is not about one or many. It is about feeling loved. Wanted. It is about finding resonance to your inner voice. Belonging. Fulfillment? It has that certain je na sais quoi… Only when you find it, will you know. It’s like that missing piece that was never lost, but now united, makes you feel complete. Quenched? Suddenly everything - and everything - is status quo. The very dog, home, kids, parents, wife will seem sublime.
Aloneness is companionship.
Aloneness as extolled - the virtuous aloneness. Aloneness that is centeredness. That is meditative. Positive. And far removed from loneliness - is a theory. Theories are all beautiful. Poignant. But they remain theories till internalised. And this cannot (must not) be thrust upon. You cannot imbibe a sense of belonging. You must feel it. If your aloneness doesn’t make you feel abandoned and lonesome then indeed, it is positive. But if you are resigned to a certain sense of isolation, theories will line bookshelves. And you lonely.
How then do you deal with it? If you can’t read those inspiring pieces and tell yourself that yours too is positive. That you too are “alone but not lonely”… Read those pieces. Sing that lullaby. But never close yourself to the idea of being united. Of finding that resonance that has thus far rendered you alone in a crowd of your own. So what if it is too late. And late for what? To be loved! Not all relationships are limited by a humanly trajectory. A label.
Ever so often, you meet someone for the very first time but there’s a deep resonance. A certain déjà vu. But you let it pass. Don’t! Soulmates are not necessarily lovers. Spouses. Parents. They are simply those who make our journeys sublime. Even by the briefest encounter.
Not all of us are blessed to find our soulmate, or even soul groups, early in life. Most were never looking, never knew better. Companionship is a three-hour film that ends when the lights come on. Many others give up. Submit to fate and a life forlorn. But then some, having accepted the aloneness with equanimity, are yet open. Open to the idea of that other.
The other who has been with you in several lives. In a few right from the start, in others completely amiss, and then in some appears late. And whenever you meet, early or late in life, the relationship will be defined by a certain ease. For you pick up where you left off. And go back to that endeavour of taking human love to a divine form.
Where love is not about combatting loneliness. Where love is not your need to be needed. Where love is detachment. Where togetherness is not the end of aloneness. Where togetherness is not mere words but shared silences.
Aloneness is warm when you have someone to share your space with at will and whim. Then you are alone but not lonely. Then aloneness is meditative. Then, you rejoice in it. Aloneness born of communion is quietude within. The mind is silent. Now when you seek Him, it’s not an escape but a return.
For even as he eludes, He is forever your soulmate.
Nupur Mahajan is a sum of many parts. Ideas are her business even as her creative streak sees her straddle television, advertising, publishing, radio and brands. Reach her at email@example.com