Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty. Mother Teresa
“There are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematician that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one.” G.K. Chesterton
Loneliness thrives when you’re disconnected with yourself and others. Today, as a culture, half of Americans live alone. Many have given up on the religious communities whose work it is to lovingly give us, wisdom, help us find a sense of purpose, and help connect us with others and God. These are places to celebrate our joys and to find compassion and comfort in our time of sorrow.
We need community and we seem to do better when we sense a connection with an ultimate sense of being that many call God. We have known this for millennia.
Loneliness can have it’s roots in the past. For example, some of you may have experienced –
Neglect. (Why would anyone want me?)
Chaos. (Who can I depend on?)
Bullying. (Why can’t I be defended?)
Rejection. (Why wouldn’t I get rejected again?)
Isolation. (How could I fit in?)
Disappointment. (Why would things work out now?)
Aloneness. (Why would someone look out for me now?)
These lead to disappointment, disillusionment, and hurt. Sometimes you can feel so hurt that you feel consumed by it. Beauty, truth, and love may feel far away. You’re not good enough; others, including God, aren’t good enough. Therefore, why would you try to find a friend? To avoid rejection, you might tell yourself that happy people live in fantasy; that they have nothing to teach you; that there’s no hope for you. But, inside, you know you need and want a friend.
There is hope –
There are people who choose to be compassionate and loving. You can be one of them.
Good, wise, people can help you be a friend and find a friend. You can choose to focus on what is good, beautiful, and true.
You can move from judgment to compassion.
Consider compassion toward yourself and others. Everyone has his/her own pain to deal with. Some had deal with the results of war and natural disasters. Some may be been deceived and think that alcoholism, drug abuse, intimidation, compulsive devotion to work, etc., are good for them. We’re all in the process of learning to live as we go along.
Connecting with yourself and others, of course, is the only way to reduce loneliness. To do that you have to be compassionate, loving, and graciously firm about what is and is not acceptable to you.
1.Learn to know yourself and be compassionate and firm with yourself.
2. Get comfort by expressing your pain to a compassionate person.
3. Give up demanding that life be your way; it doesn’t work.
4. Accept that it’s a struggle to be a person with kindness and integrity. Work at it.
5. Find compassion for others. They have their own challenges.
6. Live in the now. The past is gone; the future’s unknown.
7. Accept that nothing in life stays the same. Appreciate what you have.
8. Learn to be a good judge of people.
9. Join groups with kind people of integrity.
10. Move from self-focus to asking what the world needs from you and contribute.
Dealing with loneliness may seem like a daunting task. It can take courage and strength. You don’t need to work on it alone. Be willing to allow others to help you. This is a worthwhile task. You owe it to yourself to truly live.