We are all wired to be fully known, to belong, to connect and be loved unconditionally for who we are. Even introverts, like myself desire to belong, have purpose and a meaningful life. I just read on my notepad while writing this blog post, “The greatest casualty is being forgotten.” We all want to love and be loved. Its’ universal.
Being single, especially for extended periods of time, can leave you feeling directionless, bored, restless day after day. It can feel like life without meaning when you don’t feel you have that stability and security of a home and family. And I do think that most marrieds and families don’t even realize they have that, while most singles lack that. Having a conversation with my dad about this, he told me, “The reason I was successful in my business and career was because of your mother. She gave me that stability, knowing she would take care of the home and the kids and I had a family to come home to.” Doing life alone, can leave you feeling completely empty. A family to turn to can ground you, support you, and inspire you to be the best version of yourself. It’s almost impossible to do that on your own. Having a husband to share life’s joys and burdens with and kids to love on, can change your whole attitude and perspective. So, what do you do if you don’t have that? How do you satisfy that deep longing in your soul, that screams to be loved and cared for and have a place in this world?
Don’t get wrong, choosing Jesus was the best decision I have ever made, but I do think there is some loneliness in being a Christian and not following the world’s culture and finding our own faith and calling in Christ. There is just this journey that only you can go on to wrestle with life’s biggest questions and figuring out God’s will for your own life. You can’t bank on other people’s faith, like your parents or friends, or for them to tell you what to do or where to go. Some stuff is just between you and God. And since there is only one of us in the world and no two people are the same, we can go through the same things, but our unique genes, upbringing, experiences, and perspectives can give to a totally different take on something. That can sometimes be lonely knowing that. We have views, issues and feelings that no one else will experience in the exact same way. I meet other singles, but maybe they aren’t Christian or they have always been in a relationship, but it’s never led to a marriage, while I’ve been pretty single in my journey. Or maybe they are ten years younger. (And when you are single, every year feels like 3, so a decade seems like a lifetime.) So those differences can make you feel even more lonely, that no one is in your exact shoes in this world and feels what you feel. I feel this right now. And I guess that’s why I feel like I need God even more, because He is the only one who knows every single part of me and still loves me anyway. He gets the complexity of all the things that make up me. He knows me inside and out and has been there through it all. And we serve a God who has experienced every emotion and temptation we have. He was lonely too. But He chose to push through for the will of the Father. He was around people all the time, but still felt lonely at points. And betrayed. He would then go off to pray and just commune with the Father. And His last words were on the cross when He said, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” He felt abandoned too. But feelings aren’t facts. God is there no matter what we feel.
I know the holiday season brings up these loneliness feelings even more. Traditions, families, joy, laughter, Santa visits, shared meals and presents versus dark, early nights home alone watching yet another show. Its hard. Very hard. You want special someone to share in all the
magic of fall leaves and snow with hot chocolate and hanging stockings and decking out the perfect Christmas tree with your own family, while munching on red and green decorated cookies you made together. It’s no fun doing this by yourself year after year. It’s extremely depressing, if I’m really honest. I’ve spent many holidays and seasons being lonely and sometimes all you can do is just get through. And give yourself grace, if that’s all you can do but show up and get through another holiday season alone, because that still takes a lot of courage, energy, and strength! This has been me many years. Just getting through and once New Year’s passes and a fresh year starts, I can breathe again. Though, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just keep getting through, but I want to thrive! Have joy and laugh. And not let the deep roots of the lack of my own family eat me alive. I’m trying my best. So, what I have been choosing to do and focus on in yet another holiday season single, is maybe a little cliché but cliché for a reason, because it does help to shift the focus and ease the loneliness.
- Helping others in need. I make homeless packs this time of year and keep them in my car to hand out that have a special handwritten note, toiletries, and snacks. Everyone needs extra love this time of year and it makes you feel good to help.
- Self-care: I love me some holiday candles, face masks, and new fuzzy socks
- Fun memories with family and friends: game nights, sharing holidays meals together, dressing up for holiday parties, visiting the snow, making a gingerbread house
- Connecting with like-minded people through meet up groups or church groups
- Continuing to grow your relationship with God to fill you up and relishing in those moments of solitude with our Father at this time of His birth- the true reason for this season
- Focusing on the good versus the lack (easier said than done at times, I know)
- Journaling out your feelings and thoughts can be so therapeutic
But it’s also okay to be sad around this time year. “It’s okay to cry when you need to- the clouds do.” You can be both sad and grieve the things you desire and can also be thankful for special moments of solitude or fun with friends and family. You don’t have to choose. So, this holiday season, give yourself compassion to feel lonely or left out, but also try to connect and do positive things that feed your soul. I am in this with.