by Nick Andrea
Despite being out in the company of others, last night, I found myself feeling very alone. I stood at the precipice of an unknown relationship future and was reminded for the first time in several years the feeling of living a solitary life.
It was uncomfortable and sad. I felt the emptiness of uncertainty, yet, I took this as an opportunity to walk by myself and practice connecting with the vastness that underlies every experience, every phenomenon in life. Slowly, isolation was replaced with a simple joy, and I smiled, just ’cause. I ended up meeting another friend and was more centered, more present, and, simultaneously less attached to the need for them to be there than I had been with others just an hour before. Connecting with the vastness was both expanding and grounding, and I call this to be at home in the universe.
This is a primary task of life. It is that experience to which all mystics point who have ever uttered the words, “We are never alone.” We accomplish this remarkable feat by relaxing our preferences for how we want the moment to look, and simply look. We see the stars and the sky, the notes and the rests, the tears and the silence. And, this has big implications for our relationships; for, to be at home in the universe is a necessary condition for their success.
In our western culture, we idealize relationships as one-human-completes-another. This erroneous paradigm is rooted in attachment and preference, which are the obstacles to true spiritual insight. Does this mean we will not, and cannot, have lifelong relationships? Not at all. In fact, if we make our primary task awareness of our connection to the whole, our relationships are likely to have more staying power because we are not expecting someone to bring us what only awareness can – “the peace the surpasseth understanding.”