Feeling lonely can be a challenge to almost everyone at some time or another. But there is a spiritual answer, beginning with a spiritual point of view, that can help us feel cherished and needed even when alone.
While loneliness is an increasing problem in the US, University of Chicago neuroscientist and researcher, John Cacioppo, found that good friendships can reverse these feelings. He stated, “Our work suggests that what’s important is having friends in whom you can trust. Someone you can count on.”
This begs us to consider, first of all, how we can be a good friend to others. We are all capable of helping others feel less lonely. Expressing our spirituality – our affection, humility, forgiveness, and appreciation of others are wonderful ways to combat loneliness for ourselves as well as others.
Throughout life, everyone hopes they will have the support and encouragement of friends and family, especially during trying times. We all yearn for a “wind beneath our wings” to paraphrase a Bette Midler classic. I remember a time in my life when I lost my two best friends, and simultaneously was beginning a new job. Instead of feeling alienated, though, I looked for opportunities to use my talents to benefit others and ended up joining a community band and playing clarinet.
But I also did a lot of considering during this time – in prayer trying to find ways to feel whole whether I had friendships or not. I began to realize more than ever before that God’s great love is the wind beneath our wings, for each of us. In the Bible St. Paul wrote, “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God‘s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” As I read this, I could feel the coldness of loneliness melt and the warmth of an ever-present divine Friend embracing me.
That divine Love is with each of us right now – and it is divine Principle – constant, impartial, universal – so no one is left out. Opening our hearts to this Love, acknowledging its presence, we can feel it fill the empty places in our hearts with love, joy and strength to carry on.
Your loneliness can disappear, too, because that divine Love is the wind beneath your wings!
©2016 Christian Science Committee on Publication for Illinois