There are more than two kinds of loneliness. The cry of heart for companionship flows forth in many forms and in many flavors–perhaps as many as there are kinds of people.
There are two kinds of loneliness in particular are most painfully acute and common to people everywhere. When joined, the two lonelinesses can produce emotional heartsickness that is paralyzing. I know, because I have extensive experience concerning this subject.
Loneliness is a plague on humanity
But even separately the two lonelinesses are debilitating. The 1st kind of lonely is the result of longing for human affection and companionship. Most of us dream of the ideal relationship, search to and fro for “the one” to make our dreams come true, and constantly check people that we meet to try to discern whether such oneness is possible with them.
There is something attractive in all of us. If you don’t know yourself enough, and the longing for companionship is very strong, you may fall victim to the endless cycle that starts with the bliss of a new relationship, the turbulence that comes when you realize that it is not “the real thing”, and then the train wreck of break-up–but worse still is the heartache that follows that makes you feel worse than ever before.
And you do it over and over, because you aren’t completed by another human being in that way. Enhanced, certainly. In love, yes! Challenged, absolutely. But not completed. It is a myth…and I’ll tell you why.
There is a cure for loneliness
The 2nd kind of lonely is even more potent than the first. This is in part because we confuse the 1st lonely with the 2nd. Both longings are indicative of real needs, but trying to fulfill the 2nd lonely by human companionship will get you into all sorts of trouble. As burdens go, it is unlike any other and spiritual in nature, and is not meant to pass from one person to another. Especially if you love them.
Unless that person is God.
Many observe that there is a hole or a void inside each of us that is God-shaped. It is not man-shaped or woman-shaped (no matter how much you would like it that way!). You have heard it said that a square peg won’t fit into a round hole? How much harder is it to put a human in the place where only God belongs–where only He will fit?
Such behavior is destructive to both people. I know this very well, because I am slow to learn and have tried to do it many times.
Beware of substitute cures
I have stayed up late, late nights–sometimes all night–trying to find ways to dim the pain of loneliness. In ignorance I tried to put the burden of my loneliness on people. It was a serious problem and the way that I handled things did me and my friends no good. It is important to realize that there at least two kinds of loneliness.
You are probably much quicker than me and already have it figured out. But maybe you don’t have a handle on this issue of loneliness. I was young and ignorant, and while I can’t do anything about your age, I don’t want you to be ignorant, too.
I don’t want you to stay up all night, just you and the pain, wondering if it will ever get better or even if it will ever stop.
There is only one cure. I don’t want you to try to numb the void with substitutes–whether they be substances or stuff.
I don’t want you to sit in an armchair, literally paralyzed, unable to do anything because sadness and despair have overcome you.
I don’t want to see you walk the streets at night, tears streaming down your face, because as hard as you try you can find neither remedy nor cure for your affliction.
I don’t want you to spend years of marriage wondering why it just doesn’t seem to work, why she doesn’t love you the way that you want, or why he can’t seem to meet your needs.
I want you to have peace, joy, and a heart full of love. I want everything for your life that He wanted for you when He drew you up on Divine Auto-cad in the heavenly workshop.
The most significant longing
You are lonely for deep and meaningful, earthly companionship, yes.
But first and most powerfully you long for God. This is the first and main void in your life. People who know God can also know themselves. People who know themselves can learn to love themselves well. Those that love themselves well can love others meaningfully, appropriately, and truly.
Lovers need to give as well as receive. A cup can only pour out that with which it is filled. If you are full of love from God–what will come out of you? If you are only full of yourself and the jumble of wants, desires, and lusts that go with you–what will spill forth?
One way builds and the other tears down. One heals and the other afflicts. One restores and one decays.
The cure for lonely in all of its forms is to first know and love God.
And I know it is the cure, because it has healed me substantially.
And I tell you the truth: Right here and now, He is standing right next to you. And He is waiting for you to reach out and touch Him.
What’s stopping you?
If you would like to talk about the cure for lonliness, or how to get to know God better, or whatsoever is on your mind please give me a shout at dustin (at) theinspiredpilgrim (dot) com.
Please tell me your thoughts below! Thanks!