Are you experiencing “loneliness,” feeling a disconnection and emotionally alone? That probably includes all of us to some extent. Half of America’s population feels lonely, and young people in their late teens are the hardest hit, according to a landmark new survey of 20,000 people. The report, from health insurer Cigna and pollster Ipsos, revealed almost 50 percent of Americans always feel alone or left out. More than a quarter feel they have no one in their life that understands them, and 43 percent feel their relationships aren’t meaningful.
It’s likely that loneliness is more pervasive than depression. Yet, I haven’t seen one pill designated for loneliness but billions of dollars spent on prescriptive anti-depressants.
“When we work toward just making ourselves happy as individuals we often fail. But when we work towards the happiness of a group, we usually succeed.” We live in an individualistic culture whereby we are biased that happiness comes from getting our individual needs met. And yet, the greatest source of depression is “loneliness.” We are increasingly getting cut off from others or cutting ourselves off in not dealing with others. And it seems to be progressing exponentially. Cell phones, the internet, are means of pseudo-relationship with an artificial world that does not truly reflect back what our needs are to connect with others.
So how can “individuals” get their group relational needs met? Certainly, cultivating intimate relationships matters. Early in life our attachments to Spirit – like being born – and attachments to our caretakers get cut-off in some fashion. Babies cry out for succulence, probably literally. Toddlers struggle with “separation anxiety.” It all starts very early.
Our P2SW investigation identifies the very early decisions people make which become a hallmark of their future life. That is, early loss from being attached to caregivers or any trauma contributes to a return to the old strategy of “getting the love I lost.”
We all strive for Connection. When we don’t get it, we find something or someone to take its place. The road to re-connection takes us on some amazing journeys.
The statistics on men and women who are separate and then lonely is astounding. Check out how many individuals are seeking a mate over the internet. Check out the low percentage of men and women who find mates.
Owning up to “loneliness” requires the courage to be transparent and to find resources to mollify the need for closeness. The question exists though in that “are you prepared for a significant and intimate relationship?” And does it necessarily have to be “the one” or can you open yourself up to people that you can identify who can care about you. Yet, everyone that I know that has heart desires a close, loving relationship.
Spirit suggests that “giving” usually precedes “getting.” Our generosity and sharing of ourselves gives us the pathway to connections.
Living out of gratitude which is both giving and receiving fulfills some of the need for closeness. “Thank you, God” (or whatever your name is for Spirit.) The Spirit-connection through gratitude fills the heart with profound closeness.
However, if you are on some “individualist” path rather than devoting oneself to the greater whole or group connection, the loneliness quotient increases.
And there is little room for anger, disgust, blaming, defensiveness in close relationships. We generally advise men that anger toward your woman partner does not work, period. We teach them to hold back on Withdrawing, Attacking and Defensiveness (we say, “don’t blow your W.A.D.” – with all due respect to any sexual innuendos.) We find that deep reflective listening to our partners relieves the tension of distance and welcomes the possibility of closeness.
So when you are feeling lonely, dispel the “loony” label and reach out and touch your significant relationships.
Path to Spirit-Warrior