Loneliness: One of the top ten googled words in February.
It was the year 2000 and my husband and I embarked on our grand adventure to leave family and friends and move to the other side of the world. It didn’t take long for loneliness and tears to come. That was 16 years ago and the feeling of loneliness can still rear it’s ugly head and not only for us but also our children. So what can we do to recover from the feeling of loneliness and not let it steal the joy.
First I’d like to share a brief story about another grand move we made from city to very rural life just a year and a half ago. The move to this jungle, nature, hill tribe world was initially a rollercoaster ride of excitement and loneliness for all of us. I didn’t realize this until we joined in with a group of friends who came for a spiritual retreat. This time with friends was like basking under a waterfall of goodness as their company filled our souls with much needed companionship! It was then I finally realized the impact loneliness had on our souls and the lessons I’ve learned on the way.
1. Realize that lonely is how you feel but not a fact. Don’t let it bluff you as it has me so many times!
2. Don’t forget: The feeling of loneliness comes and goes. When I’m lonely, I get excited thinking about upcoming social events which reminds me that it’s temporary.
3. The best cure? Pour your free days into others. Think about how other friends may feel. Put together your own movie night, attend a cooking class together, or another unique activity that bonds. Meeting the needs of others, gathering friends together, can heal yourself and help others who are lonely.
4. Count your blessings then take action. Send a note or gift to those you love in your life. Just one FB interaction from a friend can break through the dark spell. Be the one to initiate it.
5. Get with people even if you don’t feel like it. This has changed my perspective many times! We were made to be in community and need to overcome all obstacles to assure this happens in our life.
Benefits of Loneliness (Forever the Optimist!)
Loneliness drew me into nature, taught me to enjoy quiet, and hear God’s voice.Loneliness taught me to appreciate true love and community. The longer I’ve lived overseas the more I’ve realized the importance of life on life. Living deeply, caring till it hurts, and accepting others despite all faults as they accept me despite all my faults!
Loneliness caused us to strengthen relationships with those of other cultures and walks of life. This has been a stretch for all of us but especially my oldest 2!
Finally, loneliness strengthened our bonds as a family.
Don’t fall for what the world is selling. Don’t compare yourself with the annoying bubbly blonde in Cambodia or your next door neighbor who posts about her parties every week. Inside, all people struggle but often thats not what gets posted! Be grateful for the relationships given to you on this earth and strive to look for more!
Happy Valentine’s Day!