For this soul, the sense of isolation crushes. The rejection is very real and deeply felt in the temporal realm, and the pain within the spirit is suffocating. One desires to run away from the isolation, and to do anything to regain some semblance of self-confidence among humanity. Being able to do anything, return to what seemed normalcy in the temporal, becomes a desire. Even if some program or position is a viable possibility, those desires and hopes are dashed by others who in their temporal positions can seemingly ruin one's chances for temporal success.
The sensation for this one soul is that of always being on the outside, looking in, but ignored and invisible, unless noticed as a nuisance. Tremendous doubts arise as to one's credibility and relational abilities. The one is even told as much and such. All around are people being and doing, but this one soul is disallowed, rejected, and feels isolated in all levels. Love seems lost; hope is sketchy.
More and in all, the individual discovers that it is a misfit, and others move and live and have their being in some other sphere of interaction. Try to explain, and words are as mush. For there is not means of rationally communicating the experience, and no means to change or correct the sense of fitting in. Even in the place one would hope to find love and acceptance, the others are enabled in their circles of relating and functioning, and there is no opening connector.
In the intellect, the soul can grasp the concept of how surely, yes, it must be this way on the stairway to heaven, for how could one be on a stairway and expect to exist in the temporal, among those acceptable in the temporal? The intellect comprehends the imagery and theoretical aspects; but the emotions and memory rail (even angrily) against the sense of loss. And the loss is very real and tangible: of ripping, searing, interstitial, psychological magnitude.
Yet surely this is how it must be, even if the soul is not prepared at all for the pain and grief of being on the outside. The soul is yet present, only able to peer in from beyond, excluded, disconnected in an emptiness never experienced previously.
Reading some others who followed this path, does help some. But the mind tries to doubt that they should have had to endure the trials, the exclusion, the lack of understanding, the tremendous isolation. It shouldn't have to be this way! But again, maybe it does. Maybe this is what it takes for the soul to endure, to let go, to release the heart-grip of belonging and being credible and relatable to and with others.
How sweet to hear the spiritual director say: It only matters if you are credible to God! And: Do not lose heart! Do not lose heart, dear one! Yet, he questions. The soul harbors this cancerous fear: Not even its soul guide understands?
To live in this life, exist in the temporal, yet not be in the temporal, is a shattering and severely dehumanizing process. There seems no end to it, but if the others described in old books adapted, then there is hope...if the individual soul can trust and cling to Christ and His mercy. This struggle is against the temporal world, even of the temporal Catholic world, that seems to have disregarded, isolated, the one trying to stabilize body and soul on the stairway.
Where does it lead? There is even some deep hurts crying out, "It doesn't have to be this way anymore!" But evidently it does: the expunging of the soul. It is not easy to trust that this is necessary: so painful, so empty. Is this really the stairway? Doubts erupt in daylight dreams as well as night.
The soul--in the body but somewhere else than where it has been for years--wants to flee and cannot. And no one around understands how painful to not be able to enter back into what is not there anymore, the way it was.