Understanding life

March 31, 2017

It’s dark outside and I’m sitting alone deep in thought and I think I’ve discovered the key to understanding life.

It occurs to me that we come into this life alone (unless we’re multiples) and we leave alone. Birth and death, they’re solitary things. We each have our individual experiences of them. They’re the boundaries of this life.

Connection is important, don’t get me wrong. But in the final analysis, it’s us and us alone.  Lovers come and lovers go. Some friends stick for a long time, some are gone in the flash of an eye. There are pretty words and there are betrayals of the worst kind.

Life is full of noise and fury and just like Shakespeare said: they signify nothing. All the things that happen to us in this life, good and bad? They’re the same. Interchangeable. It almost doesn’t matter which.

Because in the end, it’s just us.

But here’s one of the points: so many of us are driven by what others say–the pretty words and the betrayals, too–and also what others think of what we say, do or even wear. We like to think there are people our lives who have our back.

Really, though, no one has our back in the end. It’s not something we can really count on. We can only count on ourselves.

When push comes to shove, it’s just us.

Alone in the dark.

Accounting for our lives. The decisions we’ve made. The way we are in the world.

In the end, it really is all about us and just about us.






29 comments on “Understanding life
  1. ryderziebarth says:

    I have always been blessed to have people throughout my life who have had my back from the very beginning. First and foremost are my parents: my mother, and until recently, my father. Both have been there for me without question. They have never betrayed me, nor have they ever once let me down. More importantly, they have always forgiven and championed me. When I die, I am hopeful that my child, siblings–my family– will be there with me in my last days.They are relentlessly stalwart corner stones in my life who who exemplifhy love and unswerving devotion. Others I have met along the way, as you wrote, may not stay forever, but are blessings non-the less, and have left me with a richness of gifts.I feel filled with peace and a sense of belonging to them, even when the relationship moves on for better or for worse. Secondly, God has always been here with me– in the beginning, throughout, and finally, I hope,in the end. I find Grace in belief and love. I am blessed to received these earthly gifts of friendship and connection, no matter how brief, and although I do agree we come into and leave this earth alone as human beings, we have a choice to connect to a larger whole each and every day while we are here. We have big hearts that hold many chambers that never really empty. Through the relationships I have made and the lessons they have gifted me, I feel filled to the brim with a sense of belonging and community.I keep the memories of each one in my heart, sparing me the reality of life’s alone-ness.

  2. This is such a deep post! Really made me think!

  3. I’m giving a talk this weekend about this subject. How I learned to believe in myself, to trust myself enough to listen to the voice in my head. Yes, we have loved ones but it’s ultimately us against the world. Sounds harsh but it’s true. That said I love my “connections” and that includes you!

    P.S. I love the image you used. Where do you find your images?

  4. AJ Sefton says:

    Very profound. I read a book on raising self-esteem a while back, and a line there stuck with me. It was saying pretty much the same thing, encouraging us to realise that the bottom line stops with yourself. Deal with it because ‘no one’s coming’.


  5. Hi Carol! I completely agree that we each are the “only” ONE here. In other words, we must find everything within us and stop looking outside for the comfort we seek. No other person, no other THING can bring us peace of mind so we are called to look within, find our connection and hopefully live from that place. As the poet John O’Donohue said, “It is a strange and wonderful fact to be here, walking around in a body, to have a whole world within you and a world at your fingertips outside you. It is an immense privilege, and it is incredible that humans manage to forget the miracle of being here.” ~Kathy

  6. Lee says:

    Wow, a thought-provoking read! It’s definitely true that we need to be happy within ourselves first and foremost!

  7. Pat says:

    Sadly, we are born alone in cribs to big and die alone in coffins too small, but in between we must live each day with every bit of our heart and soul and mind.

  8. This is very deep and profound. We are born alone and die alone, but so long as we don’t live life alone I think all is well. filling our lives with love and friendship is what I think really matters.

  9. Amber Myers says:

    This is interesting to think about. I always work to like myself so it won’t be so difficult in the end.

  10. Sheryl Kraft says:

    Very thought provoking post, Carol. Yes, we definitely alone, in the beginning and in the end, but hopefully we will make some really meaningful connections along the way that make that responsibility a bit easier to accept!

  11. It’s amazing what you think about it in the middle of the night! Yes, we are each on our own and are responsible for our happiness. If we’re lucky, we meet others who make that journey through life so valuable.

  12. I can relate to this – I’ve had a lot of harsh circumstances to deal with over the course of my life, and I’ve learned that you just can’t count on other people. In the end, it’s only you that can truly take care of you, and me that can truly take care of me. People can help each other out – we can try to make an effort. But in the end, we’re all just trying to make it.

  13. Hollie Mason says:

    This is actually quite comforting. Just knowing we don’t HAVE to impress anyone, it’s just us ❤

  14. I think it’s always best to pursue your own happiness because ultimately you’re in the world alone. You don’t know where your path will end up but if you focus on what makes you smile it’s so much more satisfying.

  15. Kat says:

    It’s quite pessimistic vision. However, we can always try to be the best version of ourselves. Yes, it’s just us in the end, but the most important is to look in the mirror with no shame:)

  16. It really is just up to us. That’s why I try to be the best individual possible so that I can help others who might be having a hard time with their oneness. Quiet alone time is important but so is lifting and helping others on their personal journey.

  17. Elizabeth O. says:

    I agree, we can have build all the relationships that we can build but in the end, we’re all alone. That’s why were accountable for all our actions and everything that we’ve done in our lives. After all, that was our decision to make.

  18. Brandi H says:

    Really deep and intense post. Great words!

  19. Rosey says:

    Having that network to back you can be everything. And if they’re not backing you it can be so hard and painful too. Hurrah for family (and friends) who have your back.

  20. KATHY MYERS says:

    Aweee I hope my love ones never feel this way, We are a close family and never have to go through something alone!

  21. Taty Pradilla says:

    This is so deep and beautiful! Life is hard, but surrounding yourself with wonderful people makes it easier!

  22. Lois says:

    This is about as thought provoking as it gets. I know what you are saying because even if you are with others many times you can still be alone if you have nothing in common anyway.

  23. Well, I agree with you on most accounts. Yes, in the end, it really IS just us who account for our lives. The decisions we’ve made. The way we are in the world. Yes indeed. But, for me, in the very end, I SO look forward to seeing the face of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I can’t think of a better ending than that! And let me tell ya – it’s definitely not dark where He is!

  24. Very deep. While I’m so happy and glad to have a support system in my life through friends and family, really the only person that can can get me where I want to be is myself. No one else is responsible for my happiness, my path. Only I can do that. But support helps!

  25. Payastyle says:

    Very deep thinking, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  26. This makes me think of that saying. ‘You can’t expect someone to love you, unless you love yourself first’ or something along those lines. Surrounding yourself with positive people will help this.

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