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Loneliness: The Universal Problem
Loneliness: A Feeling of Being Disconnected
Loneliness is something we all have experienced at one time or another. It is the feeling that we aren't connected to others in some way. It is a thought that no one is there that can share our happiness, sadness, our triumphs or our losses. We have the dull ache in our souls that we are cut off from another human being even when we are surrounded by hundreds of them. It is a feeling of sadness, a bleakness and desolation that no one understands or cares that we exist.
This malady of humanity can even be experienced in a good marriage relationship at times. Marriage doesn't guarantee that we will never be lonely. If we are fighting with our spouse or that spouse is away, the feeling of disconnection can happen. And it can happen even when things are going well, especially if we expect our spouse to meet all of our needs. One human being can never fulfill all the needs of another and shouldn't have to do so.
I. The Reason for Loneliness
Why is loneliness so universal? Because, man , created in the image of God , is a social being. And the Bible teaches that we were made to have relationships, first with God our maker, and also with fellow human beings. The trouble is, that we are not now living in the perfect world God created. Sin has marred Gods' perfect creation. It has affected both our relationship with God and with our fellow man. Of course the Bible teaches that Jesus Christ came to right all of this through his death, burial and resurrection. We can once again have fellowship with God through faith in His Son. But this world that we live in is still temporarily marred by sin and will be like this until Christ returns, gives us perfected bodies and makes a New Heaven and New Earth totally without sin and its effects. Then loneliness will be eliminated because we will be in the state we were designed for, and have perfect fellowship with the God who created us for His glory and with our fellow redeemed human beings.
II. Steps to Take When Lonely
But what do we do in the mean time? What can a person do who has feelings of loneliness? The first thing to do is realize that you are not the only one in the world that feels this way. You are not alone in your loneliness. Even the person that you see that seems to be the life of every party may be battling this feeling and is reaching out by being the class clown or the entertainer. And if you know that you are not the only one, then you be the one to reach out. Don't wait for someone to come to you. You go to them. You need human contact when lonely. Even if it is with your mother, father or a sibling.
Another thing that you can do is join an organization in which you will meet new people, such as a church, a club or a gym. You can even join some online community or chat room. Just remember that it takes time to build friendships. Don't give up. There is someone out there who would love to make friends with you.
Remember there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. If you can't find someone to interact with during a night then don't just sit around and mope. Think of something that you like to do and do it. It may feel a little awkward at first, going to your favorite restaurant alone or attending a play or a movie. But it is perfectly O.K. to do these things. You might find that you are good company after all.
I can't stress enough the value of volunteering. There are many charitable organizations that need your help. And don't forget the people in hospitals and nursing homes that may themselves be feeling lonely and neglected. There are jail ministries as well. When you volunteer to help someone that may be less fortunate than you, it gives you the human contact that you need as well,
When feeling alone, don't let your other needs go also. Remember to get adequate sleep , nutrition and exercise. It is easy to wallow in self pity and neglect your body. This will only make things worse. In taking care of your body, you will be surprised at how much better you'll feel mentally as well as physically.
Just remember, loneliness is not permanent and it doesn't mean that you are an unworthy person, or that something is wrong with you. Don't define yourself as a lonely person. You are a creation of an all loving God and you're special. There is no other being exactly like you because the Lord created you for a purpose only you can fill. And don't neglect your relationship with God. Someone has said that there is a God shaped hole in each of us that only He can fill.
Finally, don't wait for your feelings to get you going. You get going and your feelings will follow. Positive action is the key to getting rid of the feeling of loneliness. And when this feeling leaves, life will get back to the wonderful adventure it was intended to be.