Many people live their lives under a certain amount of pressure. The so-called “quiet desperation” that has been used to subtly mock people for decades.
Perhaps this pressure is a result of “Society” & its expectations. Perhaps it is a family tradition. Perhaps it is older than the individual’s memory.
Unfortunately, many people feel this pressure in the Modern World, & for a variety of reasons. Taxes, expectations, War, Injustice, illness, death… a truly endless array of choices. But there is another class of person who suffers. And these people are often… obligated… to keep this suffering to themselves.
They are your siblings, your friends, your colleagues & partners. They struggle & fall, repeatedly reaching but falling short, repeatedly committing “everything” but only ever achieving failure.
And it is the single, worst kind of failure, at that. It is the Failure that a person wholeheartedly believes to be their justified lot in Life.
Perhaps they can endure stoically, bearing the Loneliness & Isolation & (self-assigned) Failure. Perhaps they cannot, & are crushed beneath a Weight that is heavier than Life, itself.
Those who have died from this isolation, those who are at their breaking point, & those unable to stand the torment silently are easy to spot. Often, they are the one’s Society does notice, the one’s Society can give assistance to, or the one’s Society can, at the very least, acknowledge in death as a human life that, while unable to find respite, nonetheless deserved at least the chance to find it.
For these tortured souls, all we can do is understand & accept. It may be unpleasant, but it is possible.
On the other hand, there is another sort of sufferer. One who hides, either pain or presence, from the rest of humanity. These people are unable to share their burdens, for a variety of reasons. It is important to remember that these people are the one’s driven to despair & madness. They’re the weirdos, the awkward, quiet one’s. They are shunned for their resemblance to the negative stereotype so widespread in popular culture.
It is to our eternal shame, as a society, that we are the thing that changes these loneliest souls into the monsters we scorn.
In my experience, Meditation has been extremely effective in relieving many of the problems created by isolation & loss. A consistent, stable practice of both basic Breath centered Meditation & more Advanced Meditation Methods, in combination with moderate exercise, can erase many of the less pleasant symptoms. But not all of them.
There’s only one thing that can do that. Human Contact. Those who suffer in silence can be healed, however slowly, by understanding & patience on the part of so-called normal people. In a very real way, it is the least we can do for our fellows, our brothers & sisters.
I firmly believe that.
Though it is true that some of the worst things that have ever happened to me, personally, have come about as a result of trying to help lost people. I recognize that, for the most part, they were already too far gone when I’d initially met them. Only in the most recent case is it truly my failure, as a friend & a man. So, I’ll have to deal with that.