A child watches as a mother cuddles her daughter in their play together. A teenage girl walks alone past a group of peers as they laugh and talk together. A young man lays aside his values to become part of a crowd. A single mom flips the pages of a magazine as she watches couples strolling through the park. An elderly man picks a daisy and ponders the hole left in his heart by the loss of his dear wife. Loneliness is a world-wide epidemic.
There is loneliness and then there is pathological loneliness. We all experience loneliness at times throughout our lives when there is a loss of a loved one, loss of a relationship, or your child moves away to start his own life. But pathological loneliness is like a bottomless pit. Once the emptiness takes hold it seems almost impossible to fill up with love. Like a leaky cup losing water; the hole in the sufferer’s heart never seems to heal. No matter how many people reach out to help, love-hunger continues to gnaw away at the person whenever he or she is alone. This kind of emptiness is most often caused from deep emotional wounds which have been inflicted in childhood.
When children do not receive sufficient affection and affirmation they find themselves lacking in self-esteem, confidence, and purpose as they grow. They often flounder in their social skills, education, and mental stability. They have difficulty receiving God’s love and question His care for them. All of which leaves them wanting and lonely.
Although for these individuals, a deep intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe seems impossible, the best means of healing a lonely heart is developing a close relationship with your Heavenly Father. He knows how to fill all the cracks and crevices where loneliness lurks. He promises He will never leave you or abandon you. Christian counseling may also be a necessity to get to the root causes and bring about mental and emotional healing.
There is much you can do to help yourself move out of your isolation and build new friendships that can be both stimulating and fulfilling.
Here are some ways to overcome loneliness:
• Recognize what it is that causes your lonely feelings.
• Identify the effects that loneliness has on your life, both physically and mentally.
• Make a list of potential adjustments that can be brought about in yourself and your activities to allow more social interaction.
• Seek out individuals who share similar attitudes, interests, and values with you.
• Develop new friendships by joining small groups such as a Bible Study, book club or walking group.
• Volunteer to sit on a committee or look for options to serve in your community. These opportunities are both rewarding and beneficial to your emotional health as you meet people and cultivate new friendships and social interactions.
• Learn to see yourself as God sees you. You were created with unique gifts, talents and personality traits which will be a blessing others.
Loneliness can be overcome; however you will need to make a conscious effort on your part to make a change in your daily routines. Making the effort to alter the way you see social activities, friendships and yourself can eventually make you happier and healthier. You will surprise yourself in how you positively impact others around you.