Let's talk about the L word that nobody likes to talk about - Loneliness
I’ve come across these memes that are like “Adult friendships are hard because everyone is really really tired” OR “Best friends are people that talk once every 3 months and have no pictures together”. Although it’s funny haha, it also kind of sucks.
What happens when you’re support system aka your friends are growing up, getting married, moving out to the suburbs, having babies, and working crazy demanding jobs? What happens when you can’t spend 4 hours together on a Friday night talking about nothing and everything? What happens when it takes 2-3 days to get a text back and you live in voicenote tag lol? What happens when you are going through major life transitions BUT so is everyone else? How do you cope when your love language is quality time but everyone is busy and nobody has time, let alone quality? How do you hold the tension that 2 things can be true…..people love you and want to spend time with you AND they have to go to work, feed their families, and nurture themselves. AND how do you not “judge” yourself for being “needy” when everyone else seems fine?
Before we go further, I wanted to define Loneliness, well I wanted to look up loneliness….and this was the best definition I found on Wikipedia.
Loneliness is an unpleasant emotional response to perceived isolation. Loneliness is also described as social pain – a psychological mechanism that motivates individuals to seek social connections. It is often associated with a perceived lack of connection and intimacy…..AND before all the introverts, come at me, loneliness is not solitude. Loneliness is not about being “alone” and being comfortable with yourself. It’s actually about a “perceived isolation” and it happens to EVERYONE in different seasons of their lives. Parents will tell you they feel lonely in a full house, married people will tell you they feel lonely in a relationship, while single people will tell you they don’t feel that. So it's really not about proximity to people, it's about intimacy. I saw this post today on Instagram and it resonated with me.
We think we know people and are “connected” to them because we see them online and I’ve been guilty of it. In busy seasons, I haven’t fully checked in with friends because I see them on the gram, and I assume they are good because they are eating at a nice restaurant. It's like a cheap intimacy that makes you feel pseudo-connected but actually doesn’t tell the full story. It’s why I suffered from FOMO for a long time because I actually believed I was missing out on a connection point when I wasn’t around. It was less about “oh look at what so and so gets to do” and more so, “oh I’m sad I wasn’t there to experience joy with my friend”.
What I’m realizing is that I’m craving connection in this season of my life. I’ve stepped into a new season of entrepreneurship and I often feel isolated. I keep posting on Instagram trying to engage with people about this journey but not many people understand exactly how I feel. I don’t know if it’s because I’m 1 day away from my monthly cycle (TMI I know) or if it’s just me being my overly sensitive self but I'm feeling hella emotional in this season. I went to a conference this week where I learned ALOT about being an entrepreneur but honestly, I learned ALOT more about the emotional side of being “out here on my own”. Yes, I’m collaborating with other coaches, and yes I have corporate partners, and yes I’m working with mentors AND I’m still the only one that cares about this thing. Nobody prepared me for the emotional roller coaster of “building alone”. Pastor Mike Todd has been talking about Kindom Partnerships which is all about partnering with someone else to execute the purpose and vision for your life. I’ve always had great friends, family, support systems, and people I have been able to share my life with but in this season, I’m wanting partnership. I don’t know if it’s from a healthy place, actually, I know it's not from a healthy place but guess what I’m still on my healing journey and I may never even arrive because I’m a flawed human being. I guess what I’m trying to say is that in this season of my life, I’m going to have to build the highest form of intimacy with God. Maybe this whole time, I’ve just been feeling disconnected from God and it’s really not about any one person. Maybe surrounding myself with all of my relationships is a way to cope when I just need to spend time with God. I really don’t know. Or maybe I do know and I just feel ashamed to come back to God because “sin” is the only thing that separates us from God? Whew chile….
LOL, I’m going to stop talking now, because I’m really out here telling on myself. Lord you know my heart, I need you, and I need you close. I repent and I ask for forgiveness and I need your intimacy.OK wow….this is not where I thought this was going, but we went there I suppose.
All of that to say, it's ok if you feel lonely, it's a human emotion to want to connect with others. I think in this 2023 North American worldview, we can be hyper-independent to a fault and I just feel like we need to reach out and connect more. So I’m challenging anyone who gets to the end of this blog to actually reach out to someone and connect; share how you feel, laugh with each other, express your fears, pray with each other, and just actually open up yourself. Don’t be afraid of judgment, you’re not weird because you need intimacy and emotional availability. You are HUMAN…..and for those of us who have experienced things that make us feel abandoned, rejected, or ignored, God has not abandoned you, or rejected you. He is right there with you and trust me, you can trust him and you can learn to trust people again. You just have to take it one step at a time.
Well, i’m done…..this was very cathartic for me and I hope for you too.
Till next time;