Loneliness and Abandonment

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Loneliness and Abandonment
by Santriani Bohari

There is a loneliness more precious than life
There is a freedom more precious than the world
Infinitely more precious than life and the world
Is that moment when one is alone with God.

  • RUMI

Sometimes, when your friends have turned against you, the people you love and cherish desert you, or your parents have disowned you, the despair from abandonment eats you up from within. Other times, it doesn’t make any sense. If you have an amazing bunch of friends, a loving spouse, and a close-knit family, how can you still feel lonely?

Loneliness can be excruciatingly painful. It can feel like a bottomless pit, a hidden secret that you keep within your chest, not knowing what to make of it, how to fix it, or where it even came from. It silently torments and tears you apart from within, and it leaves you searching desperately for love, in any form, to quell the emptiness, all the while making you feel unworthy of the same love you seek.

But the misery of loneliness, at its core, is less about the physical presence or absence of the people we love. It stems from the emotional and spiritual trauma of feeling left behind, with no one to turn to or to understand you. There is so much anger. So much fear. So much pain. It hurts so much but no one knows how I feel.

In truth, the deepest, darkest feeling of abandonment comes from within, when we abandon our own selves and we lose hope. We let ourselves believe that everyone has left us behind, including God, the Near One (al Qareeb). We let ourselves believe that we cannot be loved by anyone, including by God, the Source of Love (al Wadud). We let ourselves believe that no one will understand the pain we bury in our hearts, including God, the Knower of All Hidden Things (al Batin).
Ultimately, overcoming loneliness and abandonment is not about replacing those who have left us and filling up the empty spaces in our lives where our loved ones used to be. There won’t be that one special moment or person that comes along and allows you to heal overnight and right every wrong in your life. To wait passively to be healed is to allow the resentment and the ache in your heart to fester, grow and cling even harder to you. The longer you leave the gardens in your heart untended, the more difficult it will be to get rid of the weeds and parasites in it.

You have to give yourself a chance. You have to love yourself once more. You have to try and let the warmth of Divine Love melt the icy chambers of your heart that’s grown cold from all of the pain. You have to let the radiance of Divine Beauty illuminate the dark prison that you have built within yourself. You have to fall apart, break, and crumble in His arms, to be freed from the tyranny of your own inner demons.

May Allah help us all.