We are all utterly alone in this world. Though we may share the company of other people, we are ultimately our own companions.
When we hurt, we alone hurt, even if others try to hurt with us. When we exult in our achievements, we enjoy them ourselves, though others may pat us on the back. People come and go in our lives.
Have you reconciled yourself with the fact that you will die alone?
Someone may be present at both your birth and your death, but when you shed your mortal coil you will leave them behind—alone, as they always have been. In the days in between, that person will not have been a constant companion; you will have celebrated and grieved without them at some point in your life.
And they will have done the same without you.
We try to console ourselves from the thought of our isolation from others by surrounding ourselves with other people, or animals, or things. There is value in this, as long as we don’t succeed in deluding ourselves that we truly share our lives with others. Our lives are our own and, though we may seek to share them with others, other people don’t share our experiences or our perspective.
Our experiences are what we are. Not only do they affect who we are, but they proceed from us. Our mindset creates our experiences as we are reflected back to ourselves in the events and relationships that comprise our human existence.
Paradoxically, though, we are not alone. As our deepest selves are reflected in our experiences, we can come to know ourselves intimately by paying attention to what happens in our lives, all around us.
In this way, all that we know and all that we can see is part of us while we are alive.
(Written in 2005 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)