5 Crucial Truths for Overcoming Loneliness in the Digital AgeBy Gary Roe
Loneliness is awful.
I’ve felt alone many times. At times, loneliness seemed to take over my life. I still feel alone more than I admit, even though I’m constantly surrounded by people.
I’ve heard the phrase, "We're alone together." We say we’re connected because we have more access to one another—email, social media, smart phones, etc.—but our technology skims the surface. Attention spans are shrinking. Information seems less safe and secure, causing us to be more private and withdrawn. Things are more global, but less personal.
Some say the digital age might be the loneliest one in history.
Then there are the hits that come—the emotional bullets of life: conflicts, break-ups, estrangements, illness, financial trouble, accidents, disasters, and deaths. Our lives are in constant flux. All this can leave us stunned and gasping for breath. Feeling alone together has become the norm.
We’re lonely, and it hurts.
We were created for connection. Our hearts long to be seen, heard, and understood. We hunger to love and be loved.
No wonder loneliness hurts. It’s the opposite of what we’re wired for. It messes with our hearts and can even rattle our souls.
There is no magic pill for loneliness, but here are five truths that can help. Try standing in front of mirror and saying these out loud to yourself.
1. "It’s okay if I feel alone."
I tried to ignore loneliness. I gritted my teeth and said, “I will not feel alone.” A lot of good that did me.
Feeling alone is part of being human. It comes and goes for all of us. Problems surface when loneliness unpacks its bags and takes up residence in our hearts. We can't afford to let that happen. And if it's already happened, we need to find a way to change it.
Accepting our feelings is often the first step beyond them. It’s okay if you feel alone.
2. "My feelings are real, but not necessarily reality.”
Our world glorifies feelings. Emotion runs the show. As a counselor friend of mine says, “Mood is king.” The feelings of the moment can override rationale and logic. Common sense can be steamrolled aside.
We’re constantly looking to feel good, and if we don’t, we think something is wrong. When we’re in pain, we’ll do almost anything to feel better. This can be a dangerous place to be.
Feelings are momentary. Living based on emotion is like chasing after the wind. We end up searchi