Loneliness, as defined by the internet soldiers that keep us informed over at Wikipedia:
…a complex and usually unpleasant emotional response to isolation or lack of companionship.
Loneliness, as defined by Yours Truly:
The feeling that either nobody understands you, or that nobody cares about you.
No matter who you are or where you’re at in life, you’ve more than likely had a brush or two with loneliness. Single people are lonely. Married people are lonely. Struggling people are lonely. Successful people are lonely. Sometimes it seems to fall in-line with life circumstances, other times it seems to perplex us with its presence when we least expect it.
As someone who’s lived alone for the last several years of my life, I know I’ve sure had my moments. Truth be told, I still do! I think if we combine the definitions above, we might be able to shed some light on why. Though they are sometimes related, loneliness is far more than the result of being physically alone. In my opinion, when followed to its source, loneliness is most directly the result of isolation. It’s that feeling that you’re living alone on and island and rescue won’t come with tomorrow’s sunrise because either nobody knows you need rescuing, or nobody cares.
Practically speaking, I have some tips. These types of feelings have always manifested for me when I have nothing to do but think – at bedtime, during the shower, in between activities, etc. Keep yourself busy! Negative thoughts have this powerful ability to take over your conscience and carry you down a rabbit hole. The amazing thing is that I’ve never once had this happen while I was doing something. These don’t have to be world-altering activities. There’s something to be said for spending thirty minutes brewing a french press, cleaning your house, cooking, or telling the weeds who’s boss. Wear yourself out before you go to bed.
Of course, you visited a spiritual blog. I have to talk about God, right? For this one, I’m not going to assume that you care to know or ponder about God. All I’m going to do is suggest that you spend some of that aforementioned “busy time” reading and researching. Christians are not immune to negative emotions, strife, suffering, loneliness, or any human experience – those who suggest otherwise are, frankly, delusional. We are, however, a group of people who believe that we are comforted. Jesus revealed himself as the Comforter in this passage:
John 14: 15-17 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
Roughly a millennium before that, King David spoke of the same comforter:
Psalm 23: 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Christianity is somewhat unique in its celebration of a God who cares and concerns Himself with the needs of His people. It asks of you everything you have and, in exchange, offers everything you need. I realize that over-simplification smells a bit like the definition of a cult, but I promise this blog post is certified 100% Kool-Aid free. 🙂 Do some research – the information is out there. Ask hard questions and don’t settle for apathy. Jesus summed up what I’m talking about here:
Matthew 11: 28-30 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”