Loneliness

SI ExifLacking and needing companionship; feeling and being alone; needing others

Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life. Eugene O’Neill

he most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved. Mother Teresa

The body is a house of many windows: there we all sit, showing ourselves and crying on the passers-by to come and love us. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Loneliness or the fear of being alone is one of the worst of human conditions. When there is no one with which to talk, sharing our thoughts and opinions, and most importantly, loving and being loved by; we are in a very undesirable state. We are social creatures and are like a “fish out of water” when we find ourselves truly alone.

   We live and exist in two worlds. There is the world that exists within our mind and there is the external world in which we live, exist, and interact with others. We must have certain needs and expectations met in both these worlds or we are likely to have significant problems, both psychologically as well as physiologically. Both of our worlds are dependent on each other. If there are significant problems in one of them, there are likely difficulties and issues in the other. Feelings of loneliness are one of many things which causes us to be out of kilter.

    Loneliness exists when there is insufficient interaction with others to satisfy our needs for belonging, mattering and even being loved. It takes others to help us feel worthy and important. If we do not have emotional support from someone we will have problems with self esteem, self image or other self issues. If we do have sufficient social interaction we are likely to improvise. We will try to use our creative powers to try to convince ourselves we are important. We may become arrogant, boastful or conceited or may even withdraw and become reclusive. Our inner self will try to create ways to deal with our loneliness. We may imagine we are admired or appreciated or may remove ourselves from interacting at all. We will mask our loneliness if we have to.  

    Everyone has basic needs to be nurtured and loved. There are also needs for being respected, appreciated and even admired. Something inside us needs to interact with others in order for us to be vibrant, healthy and well adjusted. If these things are lacking, there are problems. Kids who do not receive love and nurturing are likely to have problems throughout their lives. Seniors isolated from sufficient social interaction have difficulties in living healthy and well-adjusted lives, both mentally and physically. All of us can have various problems if we fall prey to the feelings of too much isolation and loneliness.

Challenge: The more you are aware of your needs and issues, the more you are capable of doing something about them. If loneliness is an issue, then take action. Find ways to incorporate more people and more social interaction into your life. Do not stay at home or isolate yourself. Join clubs or organizations. Go to places and meet people. Start conversations. Find ways to reach out and express yourself. Interact. Do not vegetate.

Wisdom: The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being. His heart withers if it does not answer another heart. His mind shrinks away if he hears only the echoes of his own thoughts and finds no other inspiration. Pearl S. Buck

Spiritual: (NIV)

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say; Here am I. Isaiah 58:9

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. John 12:46

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18

Many believe at the heart of loneliness is our need to have an ongoing relationship with God. The Bible tells us we are made in his image and have his spirit within us. We are incomplete and inadequate and always will be until we re-connect with God. It is only when our spirit re-unites with God’s Spirit that we are sufficiently able to overcome many of the difficulties that life is always presenting us. Loneliness is just one of these problems.

Prayer: Help me to always be in touch with your Spirit. May the Holy Spirit live in me and through me.

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