Tuesday, August 25, 2015

On Feeling Lonely

I was about to start this post off by saying that I don't normally write about topics such as this, but then I realized that I haven't ever really kept this blog stuck into one topic or another. Spontaneity is definitely in my title for a reason - my thoughts tend to be all over the place and, thus, my blog posts will follow. Fair warning, though: this post is going to be a lot more close to my heart than usual and just might not be everyone's cup of tea.

I had really been struggling recently with feelings of loneliness and, for the longest time, I couldn't get to the root of it. I love my alone time, so I've never really experienced a lot of (or even real) loneliness - I usually revel in that time away from others and those rare times when I feel lonely is more me missing someone rather than wishing simply anyone were around. Lately, though… That loneliness was there and it was very real. As my introspective self does, I began to reflect. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because most of my closest friends do not live near me at the moment. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because my boyfriend was quite busy. No, I wasn’t feeling this way because I had simply “had my fill” of alone time for a while. These thoughts all crossed my mind, but I knew it was none of these because I was still surrounded by people and, for the most part, life was the same as always.

It was none of these things, yet nothing else made sense. It had to be one, or all of them, didn’t it?! So, I filled my time. Or tried to at least. Ironically enough, in trying to fill my time I felt more aware of my loneliness and my failed attempt to alleviate it. In searching for things to do and people to fill my time with, I came up on so many closed doors. People were busy, places were closed, and I was left to be alone with myself. I did manage to connect with some friends that I hadn’t been able to see in a while (which was absolutely wonderful), but I would leave them, and the joy and love and friendship that I had experienced in those few hours together wouldn’t hold up against being alone. I had hoped that it would at least tide me over until my next social encounter, but the moment I was alone again the loneliness weighed on me, sometimes even heavier than before I had met up with my friend.

What was this? Why was I feeling this way? It was all so foreign to me that I almost felt afraid. And then I realized: I needed to stop trying to figure it out and just let it be. Let myself be lonely. Live in it. Feel it. Rest in God who makes all things work together for my good. Maybe I didn’t know why I was feeling lonely when I never had before, but God sure did. He drew me in, closer and closer to Him until I remembered that it is in Him alone that I will feel complete and full and not lonely. I prayed. I watched movies. I made friendship bracelets just like when I was eight. I went to adoration. I cleaned my house. I took naps. I prayed a novena. I let my friends and family know that I cared about them through text, email, phone calls, and letters. I talked with God. I let Him know I cared about Him, too. I felt lonely the whole time. But I felt safe in my loneliness. At the end of the day, when I placed my head on my pillow to sleep, I didn’t know if it would be any different the next day, but that was OK. God was working in my heart in ways that I wasn’t to know yet, and it was so. good.

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