I’ll be alone tomorrow.
My friends have found the truth.
I have said it aloud; now I’m in shame.
I thought they would forgive me.
I wanted understanding and acceptance.
Instead, their judgment was unanimous.
Will I be stuck as an eternal “I”?
“We” and “our” are foreign words now.
I know that I have made a grievous error.
With no one to share with, I began to despair.
The days have been passing slowly.
I cannot expect freedom again.
The world around me is black.
I can wish for friends, but it will be in vain.
I will be alone again and again.
William Wayne Smith
One of my worries had been that I do something bad and lose a friend. My imagination can be vivid so that I can compound simple conflicts into a lost friendship. If I can’t forgive myself—why would anyone else?
This poem takes that fear to new levels. Not only have I made a mistake, it is so severe that everyone abandons me. They reject me because some secret sin had been revealed.
If I am alone, I cannot use “we” and “us” again. This is as if one mistake would be a dead end for my life in the world.
I make mistakes all of the time. They do not mean that I am unworthy of the caring and friendships that I cherish.
This poem paints a bleak outlook on reality. I don’t embrace that perspective, but my imagination could bring it forth at times.
I published the poem initially at Alone Tomorrow. The image It takes a lot to give, to ask for help is by 10 Mix licensed with CC-BY-NC 2.0
In the moment, I might be afraid or different or apart-from. When I feel those feelings, it’s easy to see that something is wrong. I want to feel different but I don’t know how to get there.
In the moment, I instinctively try out my different skills to change the feeling. Some work better than others. The ones that work well, help me feel integrated. I become part of the solution and the fear gradually dissipates. Some work for a moment, but leave me with other problems to solve.
In a relationship, I can engage or disengage. We can move forward together or I can pull back. One way to pull back is to physically or emotionally run away. I can get away from the situation by going to a new place… or I can go to a new place in my heart and get behind the familiar walls.
These forms of running away are examples of techniques that leave me with other problems to solve. The next time I feel it, I can just want to run away again, whether or not anything got better the last time I did it.
My impulse is to find a new path. I want to do it better; I want to be compassionate and kind to myself. Friends can help me find that way. Prayer can help me start moving in a good direction. I don’t need to have all the answers. Sharing with a friend who listens can reveal new ideas.
Prayer, over the course of a few days, causes things to shift. I hoped to feel a-part-of and as I looked at the days pass, I found it easier to get there.
I look out for ways to learn new skills. The ones I’m good at require cognition and not emotion. Learning the nurture the emotion skills has been worthwhile lately.
[original image: Wilson’s Warbler in Denver 2 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]