Have you ever stopped and thought, how’d I get here? For me, the question pops up after I complete a huge project. I get highly focused and make a lot of snap decisions. However, none of that matters when those choices bring me to the middle of nowhere, and you feel lonely.
All of them might have been great too. But at that moment, you see you’re standing there all alone. The feeling you have in your heart is evident, and you don’t know what to do. When you Feel lonely, it isn’t your fault, it’s part of our genetic makeup. You were made for community.
Many people that struggle with being loneliness also struggle with depression. They go through these thoughts daily, but even if you’re not depressed, I’m sure you’ve struggled with loneliness. I know because I’ve been there myself. I’ve contemplated horrible things when I feel lonely, and If you’re dealing with any horrible thoughts, I want you to remember this.
You’re here for a reason. You are loved. Our world needs you, and you have something only you can accomplish here.
Why Do I Feel Lonely?
You feel lonely for a couple of different reasons, maybe you’re just sad and there’s no one around at the moment to comfort you?
Or maybe you’ve strived for greatness, only to leave everyone in your dust. Now you’ve woken up and realized that you’re all alone.
For a long time, I considered myself an extroverted loner. I love to spend time with people, but they eventually annoy me. So I’d disappear. Eventually, I learned about a Samurai Term Called Ronin.
Ronin means drifter, or wanderer in Japanese. Samurai Warriors served warlords in feudal Japan. If a Samurai didn’t serve a lord, they were Ronin. They might have lost their status through many different means, but that didn’t mean much.
They wandered. In the USA, the closest term we have, (but it’s NOT exact) is vagrant. Ronin sounds a lot cooler.
My Past Loneliness And The Pain Of My Past
Over a decade ago I was attending a ministry school on the other side of the country. It was in the Deep South and I lived there for 5 years. It was where I grew up, made my first friendships outside of school, and in general became an adult.
However, after 5 years of Ministry school, I decided to come home. This was to be closer to my family. I didn’t realize how many problems that would develop for me.
All my friends from High School were in college, married, or had moved away. I’d been away for so long that it didn’t make sense to reconnect.
My best friend from High School and I tried to reconnect, but we’d become two completely different people. It was like talking to a stranger.
I felt like I was falling backward in life. In leaving Mississippi, I’d lost my friends, colleagues, and some really epic people. Then once I got home, and couldn’t reconnect with anyone. I felt alone, disconnected, and began to feel lonely.
What Does Loneliness Do To A Person?
I spent months drifting aimlessly and I couldn’t figure out what to do. I existed in name only, and didn’t accomplish much of anything. I told myself that I made a bad choice, and I was left in the dust.
Eventually, after failing and causing more pain to myself and others. I made a choice that led me to dependence on God.
The truth I’ve found is that people come and go, I will love them all while they’re here, but eventually, we will have to part ways.
The key to not feeling lonely is knowing God. He is the one who can direct and guide you, and he can help you through any pain you feel.
Walking through pain helps us realize there’s something more to life. It helps us see the good and separate it from the bad. It sucks, but in some ways, it can be helpful to direct and guide our paths.
When You Feel Lonely You’ll Have To Fight Mental Battles
The entire world is full of broken and lonely people, (right now I’m writing this in an apartment I rent all alone).
My belief is that the root issues of loneliness come from social issues. many people never learn how to properly connect with others. It starts in elementary school and continues on through college.
Many others are stunted because we don’t know how to let go of things and forgive. But that’s a topic for another blog.
This is a huge cause of loneliness, our pain. We don’t know what to do with it, and we’re scared someone will see it inside of us. So fear grips our hearts and we’re terrified of someone else getting to know us. If they really know us, then they’ll find out about the bad things, and then they won’t like coming around anymore.
That got dark really quick, but understand that everyone has their weaknesses, and darkness. It doesn’t surprise many.
What Does It Feel Like To Be Lonely?
The trick about loneliness is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. We don’t want others to know us. This might be because of something bad we hide, or believe is inside us. So we push people away, and when you push people away, you become lonely.
Then we feel bad again…so we push away more.
Eventually, people will stop coming around, and you begin to believe you were right. Everyone finally deserted you, so you were right about everything.
But it’s a hollow victory, if you can even call it that. In reality, you’ve lost everything.
If you find yourself at this point, you have to make a choice. Will you fight? Or Will you run? When you fight for yourself, that means breaking out of your loneliness and connecting with people. No matter the cost It’s worth it. If you run, well nothing will change, in fact, your depression and loneliness will get worse.
I know pain, I’ve lived with it my entire life, we are old friends. Everyone has a story of heartache and pain, you can’t go through life without it. So I know I’m not alone in that. Do you finally want healing?
How Do I know if I Am Lonely?
When Ronin Samurai traveled Japan. They were looking for family or a person worthy to receive them. It was similar to how I felt coming home, I wanted to serve somewhere, and find a friend group. I didn’t know where it was, or how I would find it. I had to believe it was out there though.
A lot of times you won’t know if you’re lonely or not until something happens. For me, a crisis will hit, and I know that I should talk with someone, however, I have nobody to talk with.
That is the worst moment to find out.
I feel lonely most, in that moment. Because there’s something I know has to be shared, and I have nobody to call.
Worse yet, I know it’s my fault. I’ve been so focused on other things that all my friends have left, or I left them.
This is why friends and family are so important in life. It’s a scientific fact that people with close friends and family live longer.
I know what you’re saying, “You don’t know my family.”
That may be true, if that’s the case, get some close friends.
What Is The Main Cause Of Loneliness?
The main cause of loneliness is emotion, and lack of people. While that may seem straightforward and simple. There’s a lot more to it.
In society, we tend to get focused, and other people will slow us down. However, the people who slow us down are those who anchor us to a life in society.
These are the people we experience emotions with, and they’re the ones we slow down for.
When you feel lonely, ask yourself. Who have I slowed my life down for lately? Have I shared my time with anybody?
This in essence is the cause of loneliness. It certainly isn’t cured by being around people. Or people in cities wouldn’t have the highest rates of loneliness.
The Cure When You Feel Lonely
Ask Jesus For Help When You’re Lonely:
The biggest thing you can do is ask Jesus for help. Even in those dark days, I could always turn to him. He was the one that gave me the strength to fight, and he gave me peace when my friends abandoned me.
It’s understandable if you don’t know what to say. Sometimes asking for help is all you need. Just say what’s on your heart, and make sure you listen. He’ll be there, I promise you.
Find A Group Of Friends If You Feel Lonely:
This one is really hard to accomplish. You’ll know it when you do though, and it’ll be epic. It took me years but I found a group of friends that truly love me, and that love will see me through everything.
The Bible says perfect love casts out all fear and brings healing to brokenness. Are you weary, wounded, depressed, lonely? I was all those things and more. The choices I made brought me to an amazing place. It’s still a difficult path to walk, but at least it’s a path of my own choosing.
Giving my life to Jesus is a daily thing, and it didn’t make things easier. In many ways, it became harder, but now I have someone to share life with. Having a person that loves you, and cares what happens. That makes all the difference. Make sure you find that person.
Even if you’re not ready for Jesus, we were created to live in a community. Don’t isolate yourself. Find some friends that truly care for you, and share what’s going on in your life. You’ll be glad you did it.
Get Out For Some Exercise:
When I get hit with loneliness, one of the things I like to do is exercise. Sometimes it’s just the feeling and not my reality. By exercising you’re allowing your body to reset, and release endorphins that make you feel better.
In some places, you can’t really go outside to exercise. I’m in Minneapolis so I totally get it but find something that you enjoy and it raises your heart rate. I guarantee it’ll work for you.
Find A Hobby:
Hobbies are a great way to combat loneliness. It’ll divert your attention and help you see things from a different angle. I play video games, cook, and write snowboard blogs.
Places To Go When You Feel Lonely:
Sometimes when I’m busy writing, I’ll find myself alone and feeling horrible. Working for myself in my home office has its perks, but working alone sucks sometimes. When this happens, I go out and try to find a place with a lot of people.
Places that would work:
- Coffee Shops
- The Zoo
- A Library
- Anyplace With Wifi
- Grocery Stores
The list could be endless, but these are places I visit, where I can have some small human interaction. It reduces my feelings of loneliness and I’m able to keep going. Let me know if I forgot anything in the comments.