You could be standing in a room full of people and feel completely alone. Maybe you’re the one who could spend an entire day surrounded by people and go home to an empty apartment, or you feel emotionally isolated every time you build another wall in your heart. You might have lost someone close to you, and now that they’re gone, nothing seems to feel right.
Loneliness is a real thing.
The Huffington Post wrote a whole article about how 1 in 5 Americans suffer from persistent loneliness, and the feeling doesn’t discriminate. People from all backgrounds, ethnicities, religions, genders, and socioeconomic statuses feel it, so where does it come from and how do we fight it?
As humans, we’re wired to be social. God gave us mouths to speak and hearts to love. He also gave us community and even encourages us to gather together, so loneliness is a warning sign that you’re not on God’s plan for your life. It comes from other feelings of low self worth, insecurities, and pain from past hurts or offenses.
Loneliness isolates us, and it tells us the lie that people don’t like us or don’t want to be around us, but don’t buy in. You can fight this feeling in three ways.
Acknowledge it for what it is.
A tool of the enemy to keep us apart. Loneliness is a feeling that is real, but it’s produced by lies in our head. Take a moment right now, and think of ways that you can reach out to people and let them know that you are struggling.
Write out an accurate assessment.
Does the feeling happen often? What triggers it? How quickly does it go away? What things are you doing to feel better? Do you typically choose to sit in the feeling because it’s easier? Writing things down can help to better understand where it’s coming from and to look for ways to combat loneliness.
You’re probably thinking this is a whitewashed answer to what you’re going through, but we’re here to tell you that you are ridiculously in charge of the people around you. You get to choose the people who can build you up and encourage you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. Look around the lobby next Sunday. There’s someone there who may be just as lonely as you are, looking for someone to reach out to them. You could also go to Growth Track or get in a Life Group. You could even attend or serve at our next conference.
No matter what, we want to end our time together with this: you are not alone. We’re here. We’re praying for you right now.