Feeling Lonely? Find a deeper connection!
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Oct 01, 2014  |  Vote 1    0

Feeling Lonely? Find a deeper connection!

In one of their most famous songs, The Beatles (remember them?) asked: “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?”

Studies show, in this day and age, they come from every age, race and class of society, and unfortunately, loneliness is on the rise. It’s one of the leading reasons people are vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

But, it doesn’t have to be.

As the late, celebrated Maya Angelou once advised Oprah, when the famous woman felt alone and facing an unjust prosecution: ‘Stand still inside your head and know who you are. You are God’s child!’

Her insight points to a Divine connection that can embrace, support, and encourage everyone in this busy, seemingly disconnected world.

Various societal changes foster the insularity we can increasingly feel:
  - The number of people living alone has skyrocketed, creating a new social classification – the ‘solo dweller’ - and resulting in a tendency to not engage in the local community;

  - Our population is aging – there are more widows and widowers living on their own;

- We now mostly interact with friends through social networking – we have on-screen interaction instead of face-to-face bonding.

It is well known that social, interpersonal connection contributes to physical health and emotional and mental well-being. That would suggest that one solution to loneliness is to find ways to connect personally with family, friends and colleagues. But friends may be ‘frenemies’ or unsupportive, and it is possible to be with a number of close friends and relatives and still feel alone (thus the expression ‘alone in a crowd’).

There is a natural, inevitable companionship with God to be discovered. His immediate ever-present care brings with it not only the exemption from loneliness, but also a heartfelt desire to help others who may feel alone.

One place that I have found ideas that enrich my understanding of a deep and permanent companionship is in the Scriptures. The Psalmist offers a special promise: ‘How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.’ (Psalms 36:7)

We all think we know how to take good care of ourselves – eat right, exercise and get enough sleep. Yet, even more important to us is this sense of being connected. The natural companionship of a loving Father-Mother has proven for many of us, including me, to be the key ingredient to improve emotional as well as physical well-being.

I glimpsed this clearly one Christmas morning when I woke up alone, with no plans to be with family or friends that day. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself. However, instead of pulling the covers over my head and succumbing to gloom, I started to think about all the ways – through the actions of friends, as well as my participation in various activities – that God’s love had been providing and caring for me.

It was like unwrapping a gift each time I thought of something else and expressed gratitude for how it contributed to making my life whole and complete.

As Angelou pointed out, knowing who I was in relationship to the Divine left no room to feel alone or abandoned.

If we are clear on that, we are never really alone, and we won’t be lonely either.

Wendy Margolese is a self-syndicated columnist and writes regularly on the relationship between thought, spirituality and health, and trends in that field. She is the media liaison for Christian Science in Ontario. Contact her at Ontario@compub.org. Follow on Twitter: @wmargolese

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