I find it interesting that “only” and “one” can both be found within the confines of “lonely”. When you hear those words, doesn’t part of you feel the loneliness? Just a little? Fascinating the way the mind works. Another one I like is how “being” and “begin” use the same letters. Food for thought.
Speaking of food and thought – can someone PLEASE explain to me why “donut holes” are the name given to the circles taken from the middle of the donut, when the actual donut “hole” is what’s left behind? This has bothered me for years!! I will buy a donut for anyone who can explain this to me satisfactorily.
Back to our topic of the day: loneliness. Now, before you get upset with me for writing a “glass half empty” post, I want to say one thing. Today is “cheer up the lonely” day! This is a topic I know all too well. My autistic tendencies kept me from recognizing the loneliness for most of my life, but it was there, and it still affected me. Now that I’m out of the cave and walking along the beach* I’ve found the clarity to really examine loneliness, and I’d like to share what I found.
To be precise, I found an article by Dr. Ken Matto called “Loneliness: Bane of the Christian Single.” If you want to read it you can find it here: http://www.scionofzion.com/loneliness.htm. One thing that really stood out to me was when he said loneliness is like a disease, and “if we allow the symptoms to just exist without investigation, the consequences may be more serious”. I didn’t personally experience all of the symptoms he addressed, but some were familiar, and looking back I see how ignoring them only made it worse. He went on to mention some causes that are out of our control. I haven’t experienced any of those.
Then he listed some causes that are under our control. One of those described me pretty well. Do you know what that told me? I had control. So I was encouraged, and kept reading. He discussed several realities of loneliness, beginning with “loneliness is a choice”. Those four words hit me like Optimus my friends. Was I choosing to be lonely rather than choosing to go out and enjoy the amazing blessings God has brought to my life?
There is a difference between feeling “lonely” and feeling “alone” (more than losing the word “only”). Neither is pleasant, or of God, but one thing I know for sure is that loneliness is a choice that I no longer make. I may have some social awkwardness from my autism (if you know me at all, you’ve probably realized the problem is more that I make other people feel awkward in social situations; I’m blunt and don’t have much of a filter), but I won’t let it stop me from living outside of the cave.
Now for the cheering up part. We all have different things that make us happy, most of them based on our life experiences, which are as unique as we are. (One of these days I’ll post my always-in-progress “list of happy”.) So if you’re not cheered up simply by the fact that I’m free and on the beach, maybe this will help:
Huh? What’s not happy about this?? That’s right my friends, that was me in the summer of 2006. Got my hair in braids, tongue out (I love my tongue!) – ditched the glasses but I still have that hoodie! And the chin! [lol] Six years have sure changed some things, though. Cheers my friends!
*If you missed the meaning behind this metaphor, check out “My Wellness Journey” at http://www.mellenasmind.blogspot.com/2012/07/my-wellness-journey.html.