Tag Archives: Loneliness

Sherri Shepherd and the Dangers of Loneliness

I saw an interview of Sherri Shepherd on the DL Hughley Radio Show discussing her ex husband to whom she is paying spousal support. DL jokes about him being a sorry **s man. Sherri said (paraphrasing) that she had to take ownership of her decision to marry him, a decision she said was made out of fear and loneliness. She also said that she was tired of being single and celibate. I was really surprised by her honesty.

Community is important. Friends are important. Family (blood or otherwise) is important. Loneliness is a powerful state of mind. Loneliness is not necessarily the absence of people but rather disconnectedness. You should not choose a mate in this unhealthy state. It is like shopping when you are hungry. You end up with a cart full of junk, completely ignoring your list.

So, what can you do if you find yourself in a state of loneliness?

  1. Reach out.
    • Someone wants to hear from you; an old friend, an older family member who may not get many visitors, an elderly neighbor. Someone needs to hear your voice and you need to hear theirs.
    • Build community. We are not intended to do life alone. Church, clubs, groups, are some ways to connect with others.
  2. Volunteer
    • Do something nice for someone who cannot repay you. Loneliness is rooted in being self-centered. Volunteering allows you to reorient your focus to someone else in need. You derive a sense of value in helping others.
  3. Practice daily gratitude
    • Write down five things you are grateful for and post them on your bathroom mirror. Glance at it everyday while you are brushing your teeth. It is a method to focus on the good things you have in your life and not the one thing you are missing.
  4. Journal
    • Write your feelings, goals, hopes, and dreams. It helps you visualize what is going on in your heart and head. There is power in the written word. I recently reviewed some of my journal entries and was blown away by my progress. This brought a sense of gratitude and happiness. This exercise helped reinforce that trouble don’t last always.

Identify your feelings of loneliness. Take steps to connect with others in a beneficial way. Don’t allow loneliness to lead you to detrimental habits or choices.

What say you?

 

In Life, What Is Your Motivation?

I remember reading a story during the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake that children were so hungry that they had taken to eating dirt cakes. Literal cakes made of salt, dirt, and oil that are then baked in the sun and fed to starving children. Needless to say that this desperate act caused a multitude of harm to  those ingesting it but the cake would ease the hunger pains. My point being that a need can be so great that it will compel you to do harm to yourself to fulfil it. Our needs are very real – food, safety, shelter. There are other, higher needs- belonging, family, and love. These needs can be as strong and painful as hunger when they are not being met.

I was feeling very strong desire for change. I believe in being very self-aware. I wanted to know the motivation behind my own behavior and desires. It is not enough to just feel what I feel. When I really examined my own motivations, I was being led by loneliness and fear.I am not ashamed to admit this. I am proud that I can identify my own motivations before making a rash decision.

 

I am learning that loneliness is a powerful motivating force. It makes people marry someone they do not love and stay long after they have both realized it. Tom Hanks in Castaway created and befriended a volleyball. When Wilson fell off the raft, Hanks' character dove in after him nearly drowning. So, is it so unreal that people will do self-destructive things in response to loneliness?

Loneliness and fear will compel you to call when you should not, stay when you need to leave, and pursue when you should be still.

 Let me suggest faith as the antidote to loneliness. Faith as defined as Complete trust or confidence in God. The thing you desire (if in His will) he will grant to you. I am learning that you do not have to give in to the pressure of someone else who would like you to compromise your beliefs in order to be with him/her. God is in control.

I was at church and was reminded by the Holy Spirit how a previous manager thought my promotion was up to him. He suggested we hang out and be friends after work. I explained that I prefer boundaries. I told God about it. Within months that manager was out and I was promoted. I am learning not to fear. I am also re-learning that I am never alone. What I desire, God has in store for me. Like my promotion, it is not in the hands of man.