Combating Loneliness

Loneliness.  Everybody feels it, not many talk about it.  

Truth is, loneliness is all around us.  How often we see it?  I don’t know.  But it seems like it’s something everyone tries to hide or avoid.  Truth is, maybe loneliness is that we do not know how to be alone.  Interestingly, “solitude is the cure for kindness.”  And here are 4 little tips and quotes that have truly allowed me to appreciate and embrace my solitude.  We’re in this journey together.

Learning to Be Alone & Being Happy About It

  • You are good all by yourself.  
    • Set high standards with who you spend your time with.  Don’t settle.  Sometimes it is better to enjoy your own sweet company than to be surrounded by bad company.
    • When we chose to be with someone because we are afraid of being alone we dishonor ourselves and the other person” – Matthew Kelly
  • Value other’s opinion, but value yours more
    • Take your own advice
    • Try to only ask for advice when you truly need it. This way you will learn to trust yourself to solve problems.
    • This will help you become more confident and stronger.
  • Learn to be an observer
    • To enjoy being alone, learn to look at the ordinary. Dog parks, grocery stores, shopping malls…watch the people around you.
  • Enjoy your own company.  Pray. 
    • Practice sitting alone in silence for some time, close your eyes, & enjoy your company.
    • This can be difficult, especially with the busy-ness or the worries the world offers us. But it is in silence is where the Lord speaks.  Start with 2 or 5 minutes a week.  Sometimes it helps me to literally kneel at the side of my bed and close my eyes.    A small, short prayer helps me to center, and reflect.
      • Jesus Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
      • Breathing in, “I am loved.” Breathing out “Lord, you are with me”—create/write down a short prayer that resonates with you.

It may be comforting to know that Jesus himself felt loneliness too.

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Isaiah 53:3

Jesus came into this world and though loved by many who came to know him he was also rejected, scourged, ridiculed.  Before he died for our sins, as he prayed.  He admits to special place of loneliness during this tough time.  He tells his disciples to pray with him:

“My soul is sorrowful even to death. Remain here and keep watch with me.” Matthew 26:38

Jesus felt lonely too.  And he understands our loneliness.  It is only rational that we run to him & meet him in solitude.  “When no one else listens, God listens.” 

Here are some reminders the bible gives us to remind us that that we are not alone:

  • “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
  • “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
  • “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7
  • “You are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you” Isaiah 43:4
  • “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

& Here are some great tips some of you guys gave on loneliness:

  •  “I think the first step is to love yourself.  And love being in your own company.”
  • You need time for “self-reflection.  Loneliness is a time to learn about yourself.  Learn to be the best you can be.”
  •  “I think a lot of people think they are lonely or feel loneliness because they don’t let people in, but that loneliness can be filled with your friends and family and people who make you a better person as well.”
  •  “Loneliness helps one find their true self.  I think a certain amount of time alone creates a more open state of mind.”
  •  “I was single for three years and I worked on myself rather than looking for something or someone to fill in the emptiness feeling after getting out of a 4 year relationship.”
  • “Spending time alone could be scary.  It’s the time when you’re not acting for anyone, it’s no one but you, & yourself  to sit with…and enjoy company with.  It’s in times alone that I have learned to enjoy my own company, and where I have found inspiration to become a better person…not for other people, but for me.  It makes me vulnerable to my flaws.  And in that, I learn to love myself” 
  •  “find beauty in being alone, you gotta love yourself completely before you love someone unconditionally”
  • “I’m alone, but I’m not lonely.”

And to finish off, my sweet friend Lauren shares with us her take on loneliness.

 “Just because you are alone does not mean you are lonely; it does not mean that there is anything wrong with you.  My entire life, I never had a boyfriend & I have had so many people try to feel sorry for me, as if I had some type of deficit.  When in reality, it was my strength.  There is no one & will ever be anyone besides God or my parents that will love me as much as I do.  I know deep down I will not be alone forever.  But, if it were to happen, I’m already built for it.  My solitude is where I grow as a woman.  It’s where I find out who I really am & learn what I deserve.  I will not settle.  You have to love yourself & get to know yourself.  You have to make time for yourself & treat yourself.  Do things that are good for your soul, get right with God, give to those in need, travel, face your fears, push yourself, and really get comfortable with being alone.  Because once you accept that, you will see that you are not really alone—you’re surrounded by people who love you (family & friends) don’t lose sight of that over a guy.  When you’re alone, you’re not distracted.  You can focus on the beauty of everyday and the love & goodness that is around you.  When you love yourself, you are truly invincible, nothing or anyone can ever bring you down.  Everyone should know that you can be alone and still be happy.  And what I’ve learned is to stop depending on other people for happiness.”  –You are perfectly capable of going to “get it yourself.” 

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn to the light.” 

– Harry Potter

 Truth is, people will often let us down.  So we must place our hope in God, who eternally satisfies our soul’s longing.  God created us to take part in relationship.  We are made to find others to spend and enjoy our time with, but we must first seek to find peace in our solitude first.  No thing, or person will fill or satisfy our loneliness.  A man/woman was not created to be a savior.  Let us not forget that we already have a great Savior.  Who came into this world to die for you…and to know you.  He seeks you and longs to embrace you with his love if only you allow him in. Yes, people will let us down from time to time, but God never disappoints.  He never leaves our side.  Open your heart and mind to Him.  And always remember, you are not alone.  

Happy Advent, my sweet friends.  🎄

1200px-Gerard_van_Honthorst_-_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds_(1622)

Links:

Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly

The Other Side of Beauty by Leah Darrow

Audible Version of The Other Side of Beauty by Leah Darrow

Emotional Virtue by Sarah Swafford

The Dating Detox by Lisa and Kevin Cotter

2 thoughts on “Combating Loneliness

  1. thanks for posting this!
    i saw it on your facebook and i am glad your talking about this issue! i would love to talk to you, so you can help me deal with some of my issues i’ve had and still face in my college career. please let me know if your available to speak with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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