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This is a continuation of yesterday’s post, All Illusion is Stripped Away, in which I tried to show how deconstruction is a healthy part of spiritual growth.

Instead of the word “cell”, the monk’s room where she spends all her days, replace it with the word “isolation”, which many of you are experiencing.

Thomas Merton, the famous Benedictine contemplative monk, writes about what many of you are experiencing in his essay, “The Cell”. Here’s one passage:

“Afflicted with boredom and hardly knowing what to do with himself, the disciple represents to himself a more fruitful and familiar way of life, in which he appears to himself to ‘be someone’ and to have a fully recognizable and acceptable identity, a ‘place in the Church’, but the elder tells him that his place in the Church will never be found by following these ideas and images of a plausible identity. Rather it is found by traveling a way that is new and disconcerting because it has never been imagined by us before, or at least we have never conceived it as useful or even credible for a true Christian- a way in which we seem to lose our identity and become nothing. Patiently putting up with the incomprehensible unfulfillment of the lonely, confined, silent, obscure life of the cell, we gradually find our place, the spot where we belong… this implies a kind of mysterious awakening to the fact that where we actually are is where we belong… Suddenly we see ‘this is it!'”

You see? What you are experiencing is normal. As difficult as it is, embrace it as a valid and necessary part of your journey towards spiritual independence.