“We tend to balk at loneliness and solitude. But we shouldn’t. We need quiet and solitude for our own health. It is a time to settle and grow quiet within ourselves. How else can we hear the ‘still, small voice’ — the whisper of God?”- Ruth Graham
“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.”- Proverbs 18:1 (ESV)
Ruth Graham concludes Chapter 4 of Transforming Loneliness with the third and fourth big reasons for the epidemic levels of loneliness.
3. Decrease in common cultural connections. At one time, institutions like the family created our sense of community. However, the most recent US census data shows that more than 25 percent of the population lives alone. It’s the highest number ever recorded.
In addition, online versions or more solitary activities now replace schools, churches, and neighborhood groups. Institutions that once created community.
4. Decline in religious affiliation. Americans who claim religious affiliation still remain actively devout. But the number of such individuals is in sharp decline. Vast numbers choose to abandon an active faith community. And this includes regular worship, personal sharing of deep truths and values, as well as many types of joint activities.
In conclusion, Ms. Graham reminds us that isolation stresses detachment from others. This detachment may be voluntary or involuntary. Above all, the choice to isolate presents a danger to our mental, physical, spiritual, and relational health. Hence, under times of stress, worry, and pressure, we need a human voice more than anything else.
So, to over come the things that keep you bound in isolation, take it step by step. Because you must break free from your secure comfort zone. In ‘Death by Loneliness,’ Francie Hart Broghammer writes:
“Faith does not promise a life free from suffering. Instead, it offers purpose and guidance through suffering. Religious faith can instill a sense of meaning and purpose that transcends the present struggle; it allows people to survive anguish and find meaning in suffering.”
Today’s question: When do you tend to balk at loneliness and solitude? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Corrective influence of a loving friend”