by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
Do you feel like you’ve been abandoned and no one has your back? Do you feel alone, even when you’re in a room full of people? Loneliness can consume our body and soul and confuse and distort our perceptions. But “one” is not necessarily the loneliest number!
Everyone has times when they are alone, either by circumstances or choice. Actually, it’s essential to have times when we choose to be alone.
I cherish my moments of solitude. Sometimes my alone time is sipping a cup of hot tea while studying my Bible lesson or perusing a magazine, or taking a walk, or sitting in a comfy chair writing in my journal, or relaxing on the sofa reading a book. My alone time might even be just sitting quietly at my desk meditating, reflecting, praying.
Time alone in spiritual reflection can help bring balance and perspective to our lives. And such holy moments can refresh a troubled heart with reasons for hope and point toward solutions. These alone-with-God moments can be a wonderful gift to ourselves, moments that enable us to feel the embrace of our Father-Mother God and be reminded that we’re loved and wanted.
Sometimes people avoid being alone, hoping to escape from having to be alone with their thoughts, their fears or their insecurities. But being alone with God enables one to confront whatever would cause us to be troubled, afraid or insecure. God is an almighty power, conquering any evil and overcoming any disease of mind, body or spirit.
I’ve had times when I’ve struggled with being home alone, particularly when my husband goes out of town for a few days on a hunting trip. Even if I have friends or family staying with me, I still struggle with the feeling of loneliness. The only thing that helps me in these times is pondering the love that God has for us both and thinking of the love we share with each other as a natural expression of the love that God has instilled in each of us. This helps me feel united with my husband in God’s love, and I realize that no matter where I am or my husband is, I can still feel his love and he can feel mine. Love knows no boundaries and is not confined by time and space.
When we struggle with loneliness, we may feel that nobody else has ever been in our shoes, which, by the way, is never true. We may believe we’re not understood and that there is no one to turn to. We may fear being cut off, disconnected and alienated from other people and then generally behave in such a way that forces our worst fears to become true. Some call this a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I can’t help but be reminded of Harry in the movie “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Increasingly being faced with crisis situations, Harry insists his friends could never understand his turmoil and begins to push them away, lamenting that he must endure and face the enemy, Lord Voldemort, alone.
His emotional struggle with feelings of separation and isolation becomes possibly his most difficult battle and one that perhaps was part of his enemy’s battle plan against him. As Luna Lovegood wisely concludes and advises Harry, “Well, if I were You-Know-Who, I’d want you to feel cut off from everyone else. ‘Cause if it’s just you alone, you’re not as much of a threat.” Harry eventually discovered and learned the strength and power of having his friends at his side.
Each of us, as a child of God, has the companionship of our divine Parent and Friend forever at our side — ready, willing and able to help us in any situation. God is ever present, ever ready to be “our refuge and strength” and is truly “a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
We need not feel we must tackle life’s challenges by ourselves. Divine help is at hand.
Loneliness is nothing but a state of thought. And thought can be changed, uplifted, inspired and encouraged. Whether we’re struggling with feelings of abandonment, rejection, depression, insecurity, anxiety, hopelessness or unworthiness, a spiritual outlook can lift our mental state above our limited human perception. A good dose of “heavenly inspiration” is the only cure I’ve found for overcoming feelings of loneliness. And I get my best inspiration when I’m alone with God.
Still think you’re alone? Well, you’re not! ” … the God of love and peace shall be with you” always! (2 Corinthians 13:11)