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But who is that, wandering alone?
He loses his way in the brush,
behind him the branches
close back together.
The grass springs back into place,
emptiness swallows him.
Ah, who can heal the pain? . . . secretly he wastes
his own virtue
in useless self-searching.
In there in your Psalter,
Father of Love, one melody
that can reach his ear,
and revive his heart.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Harzreise im Winter, 1777
Do you recognize me?
The symptoms were there long before I recognized them. Not long after I was married, I realized how desolate I felt. My sorrow didn’t emerge from the marriage, but the sense of drifting along in my life. Why did I feel so lost? How could I feel connected to my own life? What was missing?
For years I tried new activities, but nothing spoke to me. I complained. I was lonely with a husband who was attending school full time and working full time. We barely saw each other. I wanted to blame him for my loneliness, but those feelings were dwelling inside, not caused by anything outside.
For several years, twenty in fact, Zen rescued me. Ironically, this religion with no deity, brought me closer to G-d. The seeds were planted to discover a life of meaning.
Now I can say, the pain is healed.
Have you had periods in your life when you felt lost? How did you find your way to peace and freedom?