Loneliness & Learning to Trust Again

Whatever we try to substitute for love and relationships, we can never get enough of.

I feel the need of relations and friendship, of affection, of friendly intercourse. I cannot miss these things without feeling, as does any other intelligent man, a void and a deep need.
— Vincent Van Gogh

I believe isolation—and the loneliness that accompanies it—is the root of our self-destructive behavior.

We were not designed to function alone, yet there is an epidemic of loneliness in our country and world. Only when we have true intimacy with God and others does our empty place begin to be filled.

We thrive in relationships. Without them, we merely survive. In finding safe, intimate connections, we can function as human beings again.

True recovery is simply functioning as God designed us to.

When our ability to give and receive love (intimacy) gets damaged, we have to find a way to cope with our loneliness. Think of all the ways we isolate—meeting our own needs for comfort so that we don’t need others: electronics, entertainment, substances, superficial relationships, pornography, or simply not reaching out when we’re struggling.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
— Jane Howard

Intimacy is achieved when someone understands your inner world with acceptance—a real understanding of what it’s like to be you without judgements. We all need it, but few have it.

Who really knows you—that is, your inner world?

When we don’t have genuinely close relationships with God and people, how do we cope? If we don’t have safe, supportive relationships, we often cope in ways that are secretive, unhealthy, and shame-producing—which causes us to crave our destructive comforts even more.

A safe, open, and honest church can bring so much healing to people struggling with the empty place.

A good fellowship can help us develop true, intimate relationships, which will result in healing, as we learn to receive comfort and stress-relief from God and others instead of our own destructive self-comforts.

Recovery is a process of learning to trust again.

(Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash)