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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

You're Only Lonely

Loneliness and depression are two of the most common issues facing people today. This is something that should concern all of us. Because in a world where everyone is focused on virtual reality, “you’re only lonely” seems to have become acceptable.

The isolation associated with being alone while looking at a video screen is a major factor in the increase of loneliness. The interesting part is this occurs while people spend countless hours searching for companionship or friends online.

This is fueling a depth of despair unseen in my lifetime. I believe a primary reason is, we cannot have relationships virtually. We can only have relationships physically. Physical interaction, eye contact and human touch are felt needs that cannot be replaced by images.

I have spent the past forty-three years married to the love of my life, Bonnie. During that time, I have never been lonely in her presence. In fact, I find peace when we are together. The kind of peace that prevents one from feeling lonely and insecure.

However, when we are apart, I can feel alone even when surrounded by people. It has always confused me as I sit in some situations by myself in a room full of people.

Because this is true, it has allowed me to empathize with those who are truly lonely; people who feel unseen and unheard. Today, my heart goes out to those in this situation as I pay more attention to others than I ever have before.

The idea you don’t have to be afraid, “you’re only lonely”, seems so cold and unkind as folks try to explain away someone’s feelings of isolation or of being on the outside looking in.

Perhaps, if we could walk in another’s shoes or stand in their place, we would be more willing to realize, being lonely is not a choice someone makes. It is a condition in which someone finds themselves.

I believe instead of trying to discredit someone else’s feelings, we should try putting ourselves in their place. Then, we may be able to see just how real being alone can be.

For many, “you’re only lonely” is not a temporary emotional situation, it is an actual reality of their lives. The saddest part of this for some is no one seems to notice or care.

How is this possible? How can we go through life surrounded by loneliness and never take the time to see it? The answer may simply be, many of us believe someone else’s loneliness is their problem, not ours. There is truth in this statement until loneliness grips our lives.

You see, the notion, “you’re only lonely” is something you should be able to get over seems so much unkinder and more hurtful, when it is being directed at us, doesn’t it?  

Psalms 25:16, “Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.

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