Being quiet and a private person has always been my way of life.
I often have the greatest of times alone and find these times of solitary provide perspective and clear direction on steps to take. It’s exciting when plans seem to come together or when prophetic words the LORD gave me in my private time with Him become manifested- this is one of the reasons that keeps me happy being a loner. I like to drive to quiet places, sit in the car and journal with God or just spend time reading the bible. This allows a lot of time for God to minister to my spirit, I love and enjoy it. In this space, I am comforted, encouraged and blessed. I am alone and don’t have to justify my character or why I don’t feel like saying much. This is a peaceful safe space and I can just be. Sometimes I play music and allow my thoughts to drift away, other times I sit in silence and deal with whatever issues I may have on my heart.
I have always had a very small circle of close people, that’s how I prefer doing life. I often enjoy one on one conversations that are mutually beneficial. I sometimes like to listen to other people’s challenges and find that God gives me the wisdom for human behaviour- through that gift I can help some people with their puzzled thoughts on life. Other times, I just listen without giving advice and I am simply used as a vessel of spiritual listening- listening with my heart.
When I am around people, I do get some satisfaction and fulfilment. It’s important to find the balance between being a loner and allowing people in your life, we are certainly not designed to be islands. I must be honest though; I spend more time by myself than I do with others or in groups.
In my “aloneness”, I am often happy, but I have also noticed that sometimes it can get lonely…
As I write this, I am parked outside a park. I needed inspiration and knew this space would assist. A few minutes before noting my thoughts here, I saw a couple with an infant. They came out of a red old car. The man carried the baby while the woman carried some snacks. They looked like the “serious type” of people and seemed committed to their cause. They were obviously on a mission to spend quality time together hence they made the effort of driving to the botanical gardens. Based on that, I concluded they must enjoy each other’s company. After seeing this, my mind started wondering. I pondered on how my life would look like when I get married and have a child. I am currently 34 years old and hope that someday I would also have a family, however I am also learning to trust the process and no longer want to rush it.
I wondered about this mostly because I have experienced loneliness when I am in the company of others and would want to escape and be alone. Is this normal I’ve asked myself, are there issues that I must deal with? I am certainly a believer of healing and I have seen the benefits of what this does to human beings- it allows them to become better versions of themselves. With that said, I know there are areas in my own life that still need to be dealt with where I must receive healing. So, I wondered if this was one of them. I continued with my thoughts questioning if I would still need to escape and be alone when I am married, or will marital life be fulfilling. I understand that having a baby can be a responsibility that demands you to be fully present especially in the early years of the baby’s life. Would I have that capacity? I guess I won’t have answers to these questions right now, perhaps in a few years I can write a follow up with some fresh revelation.
Thoughts aside, loneliness is a real thing that can be experienced with or without people around. Being alone is social isolation whereas feeling alone describes loneliness, that explains why it happens with or without people around you. It feels like a void in your heart that cannot be easily filled up. At times, you yourself are unable to explain what is missing. As mentioned, I have felt this numerous times, and I couldn’t even identify what it was but through maturing, experience and revelation from God I understand it better.
I read an article that describes what can happen when a person is isolated too long, what grabbed my attention was a statement that read “going without human contact for too long can literally break your heart”, below is the link, for your reading pleasure
When I discovered that I struggled with loneliness, I decided to turn to God for His help. I realized that this was affecting my mental health. This void can only be filled by the love of God and it’s important that we look to Him and not human beings to fill us up. When we look solely to humans, we may end up having unrealistic expectations of what people should be and do for us and get disappointed when we get less than expected. Only the good LORD would be able to help us fill this void.
God made me realize that we are designed for companionship and that hit me like a ton of bricks. “Healthy companionship” is what I needed to help me with my loneliness. Does this mean I have never experienced companionship in my life? I certainly have. I am blessed with incredible friendships and relationships. However, the problem is not so much in others, but it is with me. I had never experienced “healthy companionship” with myself. I hardly ever took time to build a relationship with myself, often too focused on what’s expected of me by the external factors. That is why even when I was around people, I would sometimes experience loneliness. I tried to start believing God’s word and what He says about me. I also decided to be more intentional in nurturing a relationship with myself. Through those efforts, I started liking myself and feeling more comfortable with being by myself. This led me to discovering many things I didn’t know existed on the inside of me. I would go out alone, do activities I enjoy, spoil myself, compliment and encourage myself. These little actions have impacted the relationship with me in such a powerful way. I see myself as a valuable person. I laugh at and with myself! This is helping build a solid foundation not just for myself and how I treat myself but also for others and the relationships I have with them. I am realizing that I am quite a unique individual and that is okay, that’s exactly how God designed me. I am no longer boring and fearful of my weaknesses. I can spend time by myself and expect to learn more, I now no longer feel that intense loneliness even when I spend time with others because there is fulfilment in who I am as an individual. This has changed my perspective of who I am.
A wise friend recently said to me “Unathi, you are not normal, you are unique. Be true to yourself” (not in those exact words but that’s close enough). I often think of this as I continue to spend time with my “un-normal but amazing self”, there is certainly no abnormal loneliness lurking around anymore. Am I saying I never get lonely anymore? No, I still do get lonely, especially when I miss people in my life but now it is healthier and no longer feels like a void.
I have come to accept, love, like and appreciate myself. I am learning, I am healing, I am growing and open to improving myself so I may continue to bless myself and others. If you find yourself in cycles of loneliness that cause pain, try building a relationship with yourself. It takes small, consistent and intentional steps to get there, you will find it extremely rewarding and healing. Please also try to reach out to others who may have experienced the same difficulties. You may be pleasantly surprised at the flourishing relationships you end up in.
Psalms 68: 6
“God sets the solitary in families…”
You are blessed, with love