What If Loneliness Is a Gift?

ChurchLeaders | 7/21/2019 | Staff
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Loneliness gets a bad rap. And for good reason. But what if loneliness is a gift?

One of our deepest, most basic human needs is to experience healthy attachment—or in non-psychological terms, to experience loving connection with someone who sees us.

Emotions - Loneliness - Grief - Fear - Feelings

When you stop numbing, one of the first painful emotions you may encounter is loneliness. And loneliness is a double-whammy. It often shows up alongside grief or fear. But unlike those feelings, it tells you there’s no one out there who cares.

So please hear me loud and clear: if you’re lonely, I see you. And believe me when I say, there are so many others who see you too.

Loneliness - Information - That—when - Lead - Love

Your loneliness has valuable information that—when cared for tenderly—can lead you toward the love and connection you crave.

First, let’s take a look at what loneliness is.

Loneliness - Absence - Connection - Friends - Family

—At its most literal, loneliness is the absence of close connection with friends, family, or loved ones. It shows up when you’ve moved far from home or had loved ones move away. . .or after the loss of a beloved companion, family member, or friend. It often kicks in after the loss of toxic relationships too, such as distancing from a family member or going through divorce. There’s a reason we hang on to people who aren’t good for us.

—Emotional loneliness is the experience of being alone, even when surrounded by others. You might be carrying a burden of loneliness from your childhood—maybe you were neglected or disconnected from your family. In that case, it’s hard for you to experience love as an adult, even when it’s near. Or you might be surrounded by people who just don’t get you.

Thing - Loneliness - Being - Existence

Here’s the thing: as hard as loneliness is, you know what’s worse? Being so numbed out that you deny its existence.

Like the pain of a broken heart or a...
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