Our houses/schools/jobs/family/friends/streets/city/government/world are so, so loud.
~The truth is, in the midst of the chaotic loudness, Winter life can be lonely.~
We’ve just celebrated 10 weeks of holidays, from Halloween to Thanksgiving, from Christmas to New Year’s. All of this holiday stuff wrapped in meticulously tied bows (okay, thrown into gift bags) surrounded our minds and our Christmas trees. We spent time with friends and family we haven’t seen in a while, and we’re a little road-weary. And now…it’s a loud house and you are back into the swing of the everyday stuff, but maybe your heart feels a little lonely.
It’s okay to be lonely sometimes. How we respond to our loneliness, however, is really important.
Our normal mood should never be a lonely one; there is hope and are lots of resources for help! There are three main categories of loneliness; figuring out how we are feeling helps to give words to our feelings:
- Deflated balloon: Maybe you’re feeling empty or worn out and need to pause and figure out what to give YOURSELF (do a life-giving activity that feeds your soul). Yes, taking a nap is a spiritual discipline, so doing nothing counts, too, as long as it is intentional and you tell yourself that you are doing this activity just for YOU. Clear away any distractions that’ll stray your focus. Fill your balloon back up! [Note: when busy parents can take a little time for themselves each day-even 5 minutes-they are an example to their kids of how to love, like the “Love your neighbor as YOURSELF” that Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:39.]
- Lost dog: Feeling like you lost yourself? With each new chapter in life (like becoming parents of little humans or getting older), we all obviously change, too. And sometimes we have to give ourselves some grace and time to figure out our “new normal.” (No, you’re probably not crazy.) Reach out to people, go out of your comfort zone to make a new friend, or revisit a hobby/activity you used to love to do. Maybe try a new activity! And that new movie, A Dog’s Way Home, shows we don’t have to be lost forever; you’ll get back to you, don’t worry.
- Astronaut alone: Even on the moon, Neil Armstrong had a co-worker cheering him on as he hopped on the moon. Everything and every place was unknown to him (literally taking one step at a time), but he was able to rely on others for help. You and I MUST do the same. The beautiful irony of life is, the more we learn and gain skills to “have it all together,” the more we actually NEED other humans to function and thrive. Quiet time is good, but solitary time is only healthy in small bits with intentionality (like praying or yoga). There are many people out there who need you as a friend, so why not help them out? Put yourself out there, don’t try too hard and be as genuine as possible (while staying a little vulnerable and open). In addition, you can always seek professional guidance like a CBT therapist or counselor; itsok.us is a great local website with resources and help. You’ve got this.
Don’t worry–there is hope! With every breath you take and with every time your heart beats, you can be assured that God, the Creator of you and me and mac and cheese, adores you right now. You and I have been handed so many gifts and opportunities (even on the bleakest of days), and we can reach out and reach up to go through life with hope, joy, peace and love.
Happy New Year! You are so loved.