Why not talk about one of the most challenging emotions that people face every day? Why not actually speak about how a deep sense of loneliness can act as a gateway to so many other emotions like depression, anxiety, anger, resentment, bitterness, and unworthiness?
How many of us feel lonely at some point throughout the day? I can guarantee that everyone who takes the time to read this blog, experiences the heaviness of loneliness at some point during their typical routine. You see friends at a coffee shop and wonder what they are laughing at. You sit in a room of coworkers and feel completely and utterly alone. You put your kids down for a nap while the other moms on Instagram are out with friends and living a version of their best lives.
Loneliness can hit at any time and can be so strong that it impacts how we view others and how we view ourselves. Soon, being alone on a Friday night is no longer good enough; no longer seen as a time to recharge. You instead focus on the fact that you are alone while the rest of the world is “together” and you are somehow not invited. It can punch your self-worth in the gut. Add being single to the mix, and for some, loneliness becomes a mountain that seems unsurpassable.
The sad thing is, is that we don’t talk about loneliness enough. Have you ever tried to share with someone that you feel lonely and that it is damaging your self-worth, but they responded with; “Times will change,” or “Why don’t you just go out and meet people then?” Those statements make me want to throw a few air punches and yell at the top of my lungs, “It’s not that simple!”
What we need to realize is that in a world where we are so connected- we also feel the most lonely. Because we don’t talk about it or vocalize our fears about feeling lonely and insignificant, however, we don’t realize that we are actually alone, together.
One of the most important things that I have learned during this time of my life is that being or feeling alone does not define you or make you less worthy in this world. There are days when I check my phone and realize that I haven’t heard from anyone. There are times when a job well done is overlooked and never acknowledged. There are days when you try to make plans, and everything falls through. But those days are not the defining days. They are the moments that make us into who we are. We can either decide to believe that our self-worth rests on the lack of people in our lives at present, or we can see these moments as understanding who we are in God.
I was at the Civic Holiday Fall Fair back in Wiarton. I was so excited to go to the beach, chill with friends, and pack the weekend with fun and adventure after being isolated the previous week due to health issues. While I did spend some time with friends, I was on my own for most of the weekend as they had to work or had previous plans. Instead of staying at home, I went to the beach, jumped off the docks, and enjoyed ice-cream by the water. By the third day, however, I was frustrated. As I sat at the fair, eating a hamburger and fries by myself, I found myself entertaining the lies that loneliness can bring. Lies of not being good enough, of not being worth anyone’s time or attention, and the worst lie of all- if anyone would miss me if I faded into history.
As I sat on that park bench, listening to the sounds of families enjoying the rides and the cheers of a baseball game in the distance, I had to make a decision. Did I believe that I was truly alone, or did I think that maybe this quiet moment was for me to connect with God? To be honest, it can be easier to believe that we are alone and not even bring God into the equation. Isn’t it easier to enjoy a fair with a friend made of living flesh, than with the idea of who God is filling your head?
It’s freaking hard. It’s incredibly challenging to understand who God even is and how He is present in our lives some days. It takes guts to pray to God and say, “Lord, I am feeling very alone. It doesn’t feel like my relationship with you is strong enough to help me get over this feeling.” People in the Bible probably thought the same thing as they tried to live their lives while trusting in a God that was continually denounced.
Loneliness exists; just as anger, love, happiness, joy, bitterness, and so forth. We will never live in a world that is free of it until we live in God’s world- but we can bring His kingdom down to these lonely moments and places. We can choose to believe that this time of being on our own is strengthening and building our faith! We just need to start talking about it and treating it as a legitimate emotion that leaves no one untouched.
Are you feeling lonely? Bring it to God and chat with a friend or family member. You are worth more than any lie that loneliness brings to the table because you have God beside you shouting your worth from the top of His lungs. Let His shouts of love be louder than the lies. You are worth it.