“When our lives aren’t fulfilled, we try to fill ourselves with distractions…”
Is anybody lonely (is anybody lonely)
Are you lonely (cause I’m lonely to0)
Maybe one day I’ll be with you
I’ve been alone for a long time
Waking up by myself
Cooking my own dinner, washing my own clothes
Sang it Charles! These are the lyrics of a song entitled Is There Anybody Lonely? by Blues singer Sir Charles Jones. My mom would listen to this song quite often during my teenage years. I always felt like the singer was talking to my teen heart whenever I listened. I was too young to really understand him but as I got older, I’d remember these lyrics in my moments of deep longing for companionship. I’m sure many people can relate to this song, especially during Covid. It’s just a vulnerable profession of loneliness.
Lately, I’ve felt these lyrics deep in my soul. I have been feeling completely and utterly lonely. It’s been such a heavy emotion that I sometimes find myself literally crying like the singer says. Wondering if this feeling will every go away and if God will ever send me someone. I then ask myself if God doesn’t, then there has to be a way to move past these emotions because I haven’t always felt like this. So what is the cure to this longing in my heart? How do I move past this without losing my mind or trying to fulfill this need in a superficial way?
Too many times in the past I looked to men to fill me up in lonely seasons. I gave them too much power over my emotions because if they were available and doing everything right, then that feeling went away. But as soon as they became unavailable and inconsistent, then instantly that feeling came back. So I knew then and I know now that there is a cure to loneliness that doesn’t involve a person. There’s a way to fill that void without using someone other than God and self to satisfy that need. To shake this feeling, I had to dig into my Positive Psychology bag and see what I could find. Through a few therapy sessions and some good reads, I found some pretty practical ways to cure loneliness when it starts to rear its raggedy head.
Journaling…Although I absolutely despise writing by hand, journaling has been a great source of venting. I have close trusted friends as well as a great therapist but there are still things I only feel comfortable saying to myself. There are also truths that aren’t revealed until I put my thoughts on paper. This is why journaling is a great way to cope with loneliness. You can start by asking yourself “Why do I feel lonely?” Then go deeper with your questions and figure out when it started and if someone triggered it. Are there certain times of the day when it’s worse than other times? Are there certain seasons that trigger this emotion? Dig deep so you can get to the bottom of where this is coming from and dig it up. You may find that you’re totally tripping and seeing couples on social media had you thinking you wanted to date but deep down, you’re actually happy.
Work Towards a Fulfilling Life…I’ve been reading a book called Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It mentions how many times, we’re lonely because our lives aren’t fulfilling. This hit home for me because they are right. A piece of me yearns for more in my career but I’ve been too afraid of failure to fight harder. So instead of applying more energy towards my career, my brain decided it wanted a companion and that would make me feel better about my life. When our lives aren’t fulfilled, we try to fill ourselves with distractions because they are an instant fix to a deep rooted problem. It’s easier for me to try dating than to focus on my career because that’s harder and will take more energy. What part of your life aren’t you feeling fulfilled in? What can you do to work towards a more fulfilling life? The feeling of loneliness could just be distracting you from what you really want.
“…many times loneliness is like a “check engine” light.”
Heal…I’ve spoken pretty openly about my daddy issues on my blog on several occasions. I’ve spent years increasing my awareness of these matters and trying to mend those childhood traumas. In the midst of working through them, I’ve realized I have several blindspots. Many of those blindspots involve my mother. My mother was very emotionally unavailable as a child which left me lacking in attention, affection, and love. She was a great mother and could only pull from the example her parents set but I know now that many times my feelings of loneliness come from more childhood trauma. I spent so much time focused on the person who wasn’t present, my dad, that I ignored the effects my mom had on my life which created these blindspots I speak of. I said all that to say, many times loneliness is like a “check engine” light. It’s alerting you that something internal may be off and you need to address it. I know you’re tired of hearing “you need to heal”. Trust me, I over stand. I’ve done enough self work for 10 people but there’s always more to do. Maybe you have an unaddressed blindspot. Dig that up and work on it so the overwhelming feeling of loneliness doesn’t continue to bring you misery.
Pivot…Normally when I feel lonely, I watch a lot of love movies and picture myself living happily ever after. Don’t judge my life, I am a hopeless romantic. This go round, I actually decided to try something new. Since I’m working on a more fulfilling life, I decided to read more books on success and do some meditation to release emotions. It’s actually working quite well. I’m not suppressing my emotions, I’m actually just allowing other things to enter my eye and ear gates and filling myself up with things that don’t involve relationships and dating. If that’s all you watch or listen to, of course you’ll be stuck feeling lonely. You have to pivot. There’s more to your life than just your love life. What about your career, your fitness, your family, etc? What can you fill your life with that can help you pivot and shift your thoughts? Everything starts with your mind.
Value platonic relationships…While reading the book Boundaries in Dating (I’m sorry I keep mentioning it, it’s just so good.), they mention how we can find fulfillment in our platonic relationships. You see, every person walking this earth needs to feel wanted and a sense of belonging. Anyone who tells you they don’t is a flat out miserable liar. This feeling is innately in us all and it’s okay to feel lonely sometimes. It’s just about how we cope with these emotions and how much they overwhelm us. But many us (me, I’m us) have put too much emphasis on romantic partners not understanding that our platonic friends can fill that lonely void too. So when you’re feeling lonely, go have a girl’s day. You don’t have to sit in the house and sulk about not having a man. Lean on your friends and value those interactions. They are just as important as romantic encounters.
I’m writing this in the midst of my own feelings of loneliness so I can guarantee you these tips help. I hope you get relief from the overwhelming feeling of lonely because it can be suffocating at times. Share this post if it helps you so it can help someone else too.
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