Loneliness is the soul in isolation. No matter how positive your life outlook is, losing someone can be the most difficult thing you’ve ever experienced. You can be surrounded by people, noise, or activity and still feel the sting of loneliness. Whether you lost a spouse through death or divorce, or it’s the death of a child, parent or sibling, it’s like part of you has died with them. This loss creates a vacuum called loneliness. An empty space that sucks the life out of you.
I’ve created a gloomy picture of this place called grief where loneliness prevails. If you’ve ever been there you understand. It’s a club no one wants to join, but everyone gets drafted in sooner or later. How do you restore the part of you that has died? That can never be, but there is hope! You learn to function in the limitations that are left, if not for yourself then for your family and friends.
Here’s six ways you can move toward love and life in the midst of loneliness.
1 – Create Change One Choice At A Time
How do you go on when the loss consumes you? You choose to be consumed with something positive and fulfilling. It’s about being intentional to move toward a safe and secure place, no matter how your emotions scream, “Stay here!” You can create huge change one small choice at a time.
Your choices can actually change the DNA in your brain and create a smoother path if you choose joy, gratitude, love, or something positive instead of a negative thought or feeling. (See Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book “Who Switched Off My Brain?”) Positive choices actually help you recover more rapidly.
2 – Beat The Pain With Purpose
How do you find peace and purpose in the pain? Seek someone who needs you. I didn’t have to look far when my husband died at the age of 32. I had two children that needed me. Later when my adult son died, Sam and I raised his 18 month old son for five years. The baby needed his bottle and diaper changed whether I felt like it or not.
Everyone’s purpose is different. Embark on this exciting journey to find your purpose and you will find purpose in the midst of your pain. It may take time, allow yourself this for it takes time to recover from anything.
Serving others is rewarding to all involved. You may not feel like putting yourself out there but you will be glad you did. As you reach out you will find you have reached an amazing destination.
3 – Move Toward A Healthy Life
Research shows loneliness and isolation can have a negative effect on your health. It can lead to increased blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, suicide, depression or mental health issues. Leave loneliness all by itself and let it be the lonely one while you press forward and find health.
Give yourself permission to have physical, emotional and spiritual health. Get up and get moving toward a healthy life. Take a walk and enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and sunsets. Bask in nature’s beauty. I sometimes take my little dog on a one mile walk down our country road, (really she’s taking me on a walk, but I love it.)
Writing in a journal is a surprising way to stay healthy, it gets your thoughts, anger or frustrations out there and before you know it you have some answers which may defuse a stormy situation.
4 – Create New Companions
How do you have companionship and affection when you’ve lost your best friend? What do you do when you can’t snuggle with your spouse or have crazy kisses with your kiddo? Who do you take a walk with or have a cup of coffee with? You may not be able to replace those you have lost, but you can hold hands with your grandkids, or hug a friend. My Mom and Dad loved to play bridge, after he died she continued this aspect of her social life and she counts on it for companionship.
There is a song that talks about going to the garden alone, by C. Austin Miles. In it he writes, “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.” You may feel like you’re in this alone, but look to the God who loves you and He will sustain you and restore your soul, and you will never come out alone.
5 – Discover Your Own Unique Road To Recovery
Loneliness is a road that is unique for every individual. Just like grief, you have to find your own path and way to survive each phase you go through. There is a healing balm out there just for you that will bring healing to your wounds.
In the Disney movie “WallE”, he was a robot left alone on planet Earth. He became desperate for companionship and risked his very existence to find it. His pursuit of companionship ended up saving the world. Just think what a human could accomplish in the effort to leave the loneliness behind. OK, so you don’t have Disney magic, but you do have the power of the One who created the Universe.
6 – Find Fullness Of Joy In A Robust Spiritual Live
The place of greatest companionship, contentment and love will be found in relationship with your Creator. “In your presence is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16: 11a) If you are brimming over with fullness of joy, there is little room left for loneliness or sadness. They may pop up, but don’t let yourself dwell there. Let loneliness be the lonely one as it languishes away. Before you know it you’ll be too busy enjoying life to not go live it!
Sam is a businessman, writer, entertainer, speaker, husband, father to six children, grandfather and great grandfather. Sam graduated from Huntington University with a B.A. in phychology and drama and pursued a degree in Broadcasting from Illinois Central College with graduate level studies at Christian Leadership University. Sam is the creator of Granpa Cratchet, one of the most successful touring shows in the history of the live events industry. Millions of people see Granpa every year all across the United States at fairs and festivals. His characters have appeared on every major network: Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show (4 times). Sam and his characters have made over 500 local appearances and on all the major networks; NBC, CBS, ABC, ESPN, PBN, The LeSea Network, The PTL Network and Praise the Lord. They currently appear all around the world every week on YouTube and Facebook, and on several satellite networks via the Kidz Television Network and The Captain Hook (children's) Show.