Loneliness was not something I thought I would experience in my early 40’s. The loss of my husband, my children growing up, and half of my family no longer living in my home has left me with days that are often filled with solitude. Not that solitude is a bad thing, there are times when I relish the time to think, ponder, study and write. Solitude has been a healing time for me, but there are times when the solitude is too much and loneliness encroaches heavily on my heart. This has cause me to think deeply about these emotions and to question their purpose in my life.
What is loneliness?
What are the root causes of this emotion?
Loneliness is not the absence of people.
I have found it to be the absence of an intimate connection. I can still feel lonely even in a large group of people. Conversations can go around around me. I smile and feign interest, but inside I am lonely because I feel emotionally isolated. I am lonely when there is something deep inside that I feel I cannot share or that no one around me understands. I believe we have a deep desire to be understood on a level that often defies words. It is a spiritual desire that is only quenched by relationships that defy the trivial and approach the divine.
Loneliness is not about the absence of physical intimacy.