On my own

There is a deep sense that what I am going through now cannot be shared with anyone. Not even with Zibin. Not because I do not wish to, but because it is impossible to be expressed, and because I have an understanding that I AM meant to be alone.

It seems that this has been true of me all my life. Even back in primary and secondary school days, I’ve always had the strong sense that I was alone and that I had to face the chaos of my family life and school life alone. There was never anyone who understood or who cared enough to stay with me to help me sort out the tangle of my life. Back then I longed for a companion who understood. But it was precisely the lack of such a companion and my ‘enforced’ sense of alienation that pushed me into my first major spiritual experience in Sec 3.

Looking back on my life now, I find that it was precisely those painful periods of abandonment and feeling of having nobody to turn to who could understand that guided me step by step to a solitude and silence of the heart. By the time my last such painful experience occurred 3 years ago, I had an inner understanding that this journey was meant for me to undertake alone. And I was glad that I was stuck in Toronto, away from my family and friends in Singapore. I knew I did not want to escape or turn away from what I needed to do – which was to face my inner demons on my own.

Although my emotional life had never been easy, I recognize how much I have gained from those past painful experiences. Because the strongest drive within me had always been the drive for authenticity, there is no price too great for me to pay if it can lead me to who I truly am, and show me the life I am meant to live. Now that I know my mission, I realize that a sense of isolation will always be with me. Simply by virtue of what my calling is, I have to be alone in a place where it is not easy for others to understand.

I feel dually pierced by joy and by sorrow, for I now have an inner peace I had always desired. And yet, my wish that I would lead a simple, uneventful, unnoticed life is impossible. For the last 10 years, I have had a sabbatical in which I focused on myself. I had withdrawn myself much from the world around me. It seems that now I will be plunged yet again into a life of action and possibly controversy.

I thank God that though I will in one sense always be alone, that He has given me such wonderful companions to journey alongside me and to pray with me and for me.

I do not know where my feet will lead me, and I cannot deny a sense of apprehension at the great unknown that lies before me. But faith makes all the difference, and I have tightened my garter and am ready to go wherever He leads me.


  1. i understand that feeling!
    but at the same time i am aware that even if i understand, it is impossible for you to feel less alone, neither can i feel less alone.
    That is what solitude means i guess.
    we can’t take away each other’s loneliness, but it is alright :)

  2. I can see you are beginning to experience and understand it!

    The beauty about this solitude of the heart is that we learn to be like Christ who, in the early morning, went to a lonely place, away from his apostles and the crowds to pray to the Father. Cultivating solitude is coming into awareness that the only identity that ultimately matters is as son or daughter of God.

    This solitude becomes the source of our creativity and strength. We will never want to be without it again. :)

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