By Reydon Stanford
Years ago a young songwriter penned the poignant words of a classic song: "I'm So Lonesome, I Could Cry."
The writer was Hank Williams Sr. and the haunting lyrics and melody have been recorded by a number of both popular and country-music
artists. The song portrayed in vivid and raw emotion the feelings of loneliness that often accompany the human condition.
Sadly, Williams died at the young age of 29, ill from years of back pain and substance abuse.
Loneliness is an emotional condition that we enter into when we feel a need for companionship but feel as though the one's
we love and desire are not available to us. In such cases we feel de-valued which in and of itself is a painful emotion.
Sometimes it is obvious that the one(s) we desire to be with have...by choice...alienated their self from us. In such
cases the pain increases, often to the point of feeling despair.
Loneliness, in many ways stems from the fact that we, as human-beings, prosper mentally and emotionally by having nurturing
relationships, and when we feel a need or desire to engage in those relationships, they are often unavailable to us for various
reasons, leaving us feeling...alone. Because our ‘self-worth' is enhanced and fed by these relationships,
the unavailability of them causes us to feel blue.
SYMPTOMS OF LONELINESS
Feeling Emotionally Exhausted
With nearly 7 billion people on the face of the Earth, it is a reality that we are certainly NOT alone. Nevertheless,
loneliness usually stems from a desire to be engaged with a person that we deeply love and draw emotional strength from.
Sadly, we might even be surrounded by people and still feel the painful experience of loneliness.
As with any emotional discomfort, loneliness is initiated by certain thinking patterns. Oftentimes, people who
are experiencing loneliness are in a creative mindset and are longing for nurturing experiences from an outside source to
stimulate that creativity. In other cases, people who are experiencing loneliness are convinced that they are facing
‘life-battles' alone that no one could understand or assist in. The old saying that "misery loves company"
is true in that we draw mental and emotional strength from knowing that others understand our pain and can relate to us.
When that doesn't seem true, the emotions can feel overwhelming.
FIGHT BACK AGAINST LONELINESS
Remind yourself that loneliness is an emotion and emotions cannot always be trusted for accuracy. Also, remind yourself
that loneliness is a temporary emotion and passes when we are rested and our mental abilities are stronger. Therefore,
rest is essential to overcoming the feelings associated with loneliness.
Secondly, push yourself to be around people in a public setting, such as a coffeehouse or bookstore. Even without engaging
in conversation, it can help to simple be around other people. I also recommend involvement in a healthy Church
family as this is can be a dynamic place to develop inspiring relationships.
Make contact with old friends through texting or a phone call. These are personal levels of contact that can assist
you in overcoming your current emotions.
Get your mind busy on something else. As I said earlier, loneliness is an emotional response to our current thinking.
If you get your mind busy on something else, the emotions will follow...after all, YOU control your own thinking...always
Invite a friend
out for coffee or dinner. When we're experiencing loneliness we often feel like no one has the time or wants to put
forth the effort to be with us. This is usually not the case, so give it a shot. The person you ask may very well
be lonely too and sincerely appreciate the attention of your love and company.
by Reydon Stanford