Healing Loneliness

By Chris Bunton

I’m not a doctor or a psychologist. I’m just a guy who believes that God allows us to suffer through things so that we can help others through those same problems.

I’ve had loneliness in my life. I got divorced in 2000 and basically lost everyone. I spent 20 years alone.

I have friends and family who might argue that I was not alone. They might blame me. But, it’s possible to be in a room full of people and still be alone. And maybe I am to blame. But, when we are alone, we don’t have to listen to the blame or the shame. And that’s a good thing about being alone.

But, loneliness can lead us to do all sorts of damaging things in order to just not be alone. I went to bars, to find relief and that mystical connection. But, it led to all kinds of trouble.

I dated and used all the dating sites. Just like the old song says, “looking for love in all the wrong places, looking for love in too many faces.”. It did not help.

So, why do we feel lonely? Even if we cannot put our finger on it, we still feel it and it influences our lives. But why is this? We were born alone, with nothing except God. (Unless you were twins) And we will die alone, with nothing except God.

The natural state of humans is to be alone with God only. And that is where our healing begins.

Learn to enjoy being alone with God; because we are never really alone. God is always with us. I know this might seem like a cop out, but hear me through. I spent a lot of time locked in cages alone with God. There’s no better place to be.

Stop fighting it. Often our biggest problem with loneliness is that we refuse to accept it, as simply a reality of life. A period we go through. We demand that it is wrong for us. But, it is simply an aspect of life.

From infancy we have learned or been taught that we must “socialize”, and that we need people. This has made it hard for us to be alone. Cell phones, and social media of this modern age, make it even worse. We have socialization at the press of a button. There’s nothing wrong with this. But, when we are alone, like millions of people, it makes us suffer. So, we must learn to be alone, and loneliness will never bother us again.

We must choose to make time to be in solitude with God. Since this world works to fight anything that heals us, we must be determined, to make that time. We can pray and God will help us, because He wants to spend time with us.

When we do this, it helps us fight loneliness because when we find ourselves alone, we simply fall back into our learned habit of spending time alone with God. When we do this, we no longer feel alone, or at least we no longer care, because we are with God.

Remember God will never leave us. He is with us always.

Do not ignore what I am saying here. Because if you cannot find peace with being alone with God. Then, you will hurt other people because you will be using them as a tool to alleviate your loneliness. You cannot really connect or love them because ultimately you are using them. They are your slave, and you are their prisoner. You need them, like a drug.

It can also lead you into activities that will destroy your life and reputation. Things that will linger and fester, long after that connection has left.

So, the first step in healing loneliness is to reconnect with God and enjoy spending time alone with Him. Then, you are never really alone, and you are in a state of joy and peace, when you find yourself with no one else.

This brings us to the next step toward healing loneliness; find healthy activities that you can do alone.

No, drinking in the bathtub alone is not one of them.

Reading, writing, art, and working out are some good foundational options. Learn to go out to eat alone. Learn to do other activities alone, such as going to classes, or museums, or travel or sporting events. Some sports activities can be done alone, and then transitioned into group activities when available, like bowling or pool or basketball.

If you start with being alone, and are fine with being alone, then you are not so needy when you are in groups. You are content to be alone. There’s power and safety in this. Do you realize how many people stay in toxic relationships, friendships and activities simply because they cannot walk away? They fear being alone. But, you are learning to be alone, and love it.

But, even God says that “It’s not good for man to be alone.”  It’s good to have other people in our lives for our overall health.

That brings us to finding healthy activities with others. Why activities? Because, virtually every relationship begins with meeting people in some kind of activity. School, work, church and even bars or parties.

So, find some healthy activity and join. Such as, church, book clubs, sports, dining out, classes, or getting together with family and friends. You could start practicing hospitality. Invite people to your home and cook a meal or have a party. Go visit people. Ask them to go places. Remember, the phone lines go both ways. You cannot sit at home, and expect people to just call and come by. You have to reach out also. Besides, they might be lonely and just sitting there waiting for someone to reach out to them. Go camping, hiking, game night or movie night.

From these activities, you will find close friends and maybe even the one you love and will spend your life with. God will bring someone into your life. But, He’s not going to bring them to your door, unless you marry an Amazon driver.

Our being healed from loneliness starts with God. Spend time with Him, praying for help and being content to just be there with Him.

Then, find activities you can enjoy alone, and can transition into group activities. Because ultimately we would like to spend time with others in order to solve our loneliness issue. Remember to reach out, but don’t be needy.

These things will help with your loneliness but real healing must also include the next generation. Teach your children or grand children to be alone with God.

Now, I’m not telling you to lock them in a dark closet with a headless Barbie.

I’m just saying that they do not always need an organized activity or to be entertained. They do not always need to be socialized. Allowing them to be alone with quiet activities can help them develop imagination, creativity, and the ability to stand alone when needed.

Kids, who can be alone, do not need to follow the herd. They can resist peer pressure, because they have no need to impress others. They can be individuals, without feeling the need to fit in.

They can grow into healthy adults who make choices based upon what’s good and right, instead of what the herd says. They have developed the ability to spend time alone with God, and to entertain themselves. They can avoid many of the pitfalls of life that can come from feeling the need to seek approval from others, or to feel that connection from unhealthy sources.

You must understand that this takes time. But, you are alone anyway, and have nothing but time. Right?  I can promise you that by following some of the suggestions here, you will find relief to your loneliness.

And ultimately, like me, God will work to bring someone into your life to fill that void that exists. He will not leave you hanging.

This time alone can be for our good, or it can drag on and on as we make matters worse. Choose to get on the right track. It will be a journey that will bless you and change your life. And you will never be alone again.

2 thoughts on “Healing Loneliness

  1. Excellent post thanks! I’m working on my connection to the Divine but I feel so lonely sometimes and you’re right, there is literally nothing or no one who can help because in doing so we’d be using them for our purposes. A a child I knew God was with me when I had no one else.

    Like

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