Humans are social beings; we all need to feel accepted, significant, and cared for. But when these needs are not met, we feel lonely. That feeling is described as an unpleasant emotional response (usually sadness) to perceived isolation. And with the coronavirus pandemic (lockdown, social distancing), some of us may have found ourselves overwhelmed by feelings of loneliness.
People usually say that they feel lonely because they are alone. But being alone and being lonely are two different things. One may feel lonely even when surrounded by relatives and friends. This arises when a person feels disconnected from others. It comes from within, from own thoughts and emotions
But it is not a shame nor a weakness to have these emotions. It happens to every person and can come up when:
- A child doesn’t have a friend to play with.
- A teen doesn’t feel understood and doesn’t have someone to confide in.
- A young adult feels detached and isolated from the community.
- A single person hasn’t found the right partner.
- Partners in a long-term relationship or marriage have emotionally drifted apart and are distant from each other.
- Couples break up.
- People lose someone dear to their heart.
- Parents face an empty nest as their adult children leave the family home.
- Seniors retire and aren’t as active as they once were, or they lose loved ones.
There are different reasons why a person may feel lonely, and it is ok to have those feelings. It is essential, however, to be honest with yourself, acknowledge your loneliness, and go through the process of understanding the reasons behind it. Don’t run from it or repress what you are feeling.
While going through those emotions, realize that God loves you. He created you in an amazing and wonderful way (Psalms 139:14). Nothing will ever be able to separate you from his love because God loved you so much that he sent his only son Jesus to die on the cross for you so you can have eternal life. (John 3:16)
God is the only one who knows all your thoughts, and your emotions (Psalms 139) You are a unique person with a unique personality, and no other person is like you. So, it is expected that you may feel misunderstood or disconnected from others. But God understands you. He accepts you and cares for you because you are special and valuable to Him. You can freely and comfortably turn to Him, share your heart with Him. He is the God of hope.
Hebrew 13:5 says that God will never leave you nor forsake you. You have the assurance that He is with you every day, every minute until the end. Therefore, choose to believe Him and trust Him. He is the God who heals the brokenhearted (Psalms 147:3)
God created you on purpose for a purpose. Ask him to guide you and give you wisdom. And ask yourself, “what do I enjoy?” “What is my passion?” Finding your purpose will add meaning to your life and help you refocus and move forward.
The way you think is also crucial. Don’t ruminate about your loneliness and yield in self-pity. Stop all the negative thoughts. They will only contribute to your anxiety. Try to be grateful instead. Be thankful for what you have.
Please take action too. It can be trying new hobbies or new activities. You will meet new people and may find a new friend with a positive mindset.
Eventually, everyone goes through a season of loneliness in one way or another, but it doesn’t define who we are. God does. We trust Him to take care of us and guide us on the right path because He has good plans for our life (Jeremiah 29:11)
If, as a woman, you find yourself struggling with loneliness and want to find your purpose, I’d love to connect with you. Feel free to contact me. (Cindy@anewforpurpose.com)