Consolation has to be self-taught, a self-consolation first and last.

When feeling the ‘lost’ kind of aloneness, the abandoned sort, live it out in an interior way, working on it as a spiritual state or a psychological one. The way to do that is by examining the feelings themselves, coupled with an intensive, ongoing but gentle attempt to offer them to God – if you believe in God – to the universe, if you don’t or can’t. Offering or offering up is key.

This means giving in to – paradoxical though it seems – the suffering, the pain. You may observe yourself fighting like crazy, but you actually have enough experience and pragmatic knowledge to come out on top.

You know, for example that time passes, that all things have an end and that ends are and have, new beginnings. If we’re thinking in terms of God, the essence of this God-force is its absoluteness, always good and good for you, always combined with justice so that everything that is happening to you and everyone else is fair, despite appearances – fair and warranted. The cause and effect chain goes back to your birth – and before, of course.

Another ‘trick’ is to think about someone in a similar but worse position to yours and how lucky you are by comparison. Count your blessings using as many mental examples as you can. Enter into the situation of pain as voluntarily as you can. The mind works when it chooses freely and knows it’s choosing freely.

Use anything around you as an instrument for lifting yourself up: anything that is there. Respond, react, use. You don’t need to create a tool. There is always one there and available. Use your intelligence, your imagination.

God – if you believe in one – provides. If you believe in an ordered existence, the laws in it, then the universe does too. Both require faith, of course. But it’s a testable hypothesis, and when and if you see results by testing, then you will find consolation.

Original 4.18.1983

Found, revised 8.6.2015

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