Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Loneliness Revisited

Last week I posed a question about loneliness. I recently moved an extra 500 miles away from my nearest family and friends. Moving away from family and friends can be a form of loss too, and I've experienced some of the same thoughts and feelings I had when I was first widowed: Is this how empty the rest of my life will be? Now what do I do? Will I ever fit in here or feel like I belong?

Along with others who shared their comments last week, was this valuable note from Jolyn. With her permission, I wanted to share it with you today. After reading what Jolyn wrote, please feel free to respond to these questions in the comment line below: What activities alleviate loneliness for you and help you connect on different levels? Or, Which of Jolyn's activities would you like to try? Thank you, dear reader, for visiting here today; and thank you, Jolyn for your insight and gentle wisdom! ferree
     Loneliness . . . yes I have some thoughts. I think we feel lonely because we have lost something, some very valuable relationship that connected with us in our spirit, maybe even at multiple other levels--emotionally, physically and mentally.
     This is especially so when we've lost a spouse to death, but also when our children leave home, or relational surroundings change drastically, as in a big move like yours, Ferree.
     My first and deepest reaction was to fight this loneliness after Darrell died: I don't want my life to be like this! I don't want it!!!
     But I am growing in being able to recognize gifts and help around me. To live, we need to relate: we need to be fed and to grow in our spirits and in our emotions, we need to be stimulated intellectually and physically. It is amazing what deposits in those areas can do for our sense of community and inner well being.
     At first I found it hard to find activities that help me in this way. I think they are probably unique  for each of us; we also each have "handicaps" or limits that prevent us from participating in certain areas that we might choose.
     However, the more ways these activities connect with us, and the more significantly they do so, the better. I will share some that have helped me, that truly bless me. They may seem obvious to others, but it took me awhile to see them.
Here's my partial list:
  • listening to well-written audio classics like Chronicles of Narnia;
  • reading sessions with one of my daughters, who lives thousands of miles away, via Skype (we love the same type of literature, and I find it incredibly soothing to have her read to me);
  • listening to praise music, or even better, if some children are at home, jamming together;
  • joining a sports team (I love volleyball and for the first time in 30 years I am again on a team, what a gift the camaraderie, and the physical joy and challenge);
  • my French discussion groups (I am learning a new language);
  • my stocks/trading mentoring sessions with an older, very intelligent man who also has deep faith and offers me encouragement.
 What do you think? What activities alleviate loneliness for you and help you connect on different levels? Or, Which of Jolyn's activities would you like to try? Others are interested in your opinions and experiences! Please click the comment line and let us hear from you.

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