Christmastime is, for the most part, an enjoyable season for most people. But for many of us, it’s a season of painful memories, depression and loneliness. Sometimes we choose to isolate ourselves from others, and sometimes we face loneliness through no fault of our own.
Loneliness is so painful that people will try anything to relieve it. We medicate with drugs, alcohol, sexual promiscuity, pornography and other addictive behaviors. Loneliness can be especially dangerous to people in recovery.
So how do you deal with loneliness? How do you let go of it?
1. Utilize your time well
Make the best of a bad situation. Resist the temptation to do nothing. If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. Make the most of what you’ve got. Loneliness tends to paralyze. Think of a creative way to take advantage of the situation.
While we should be careful not to medicate with busyness, it is important to be good stewards of the time we spend alone. We’re dangerous when we’re bored and we get discouraged when we aren’t using our time in a purposeful way.
2. Minimize the hurt
Don’t ignore it, but don’t rehearse it either. Deal with your hurt in bold and honest ways, but find ways to shift your focus to helping and serving others.
Resentment is essentially the choice to hang onto what someone else took away from us. Forgiveness is letting them off the hook and cutting the strings they have on our emotional health.
3. Recognize God’s presence
Where is God when you’re lonely? He’s right there with you. There is no place that you are that God is not. God is everywhere. You just need to open your eyes and see. Jesus said, “I will never leave you.” No matter where you go, God’s presence is with you. Open your eyes!
4. Emphasize the needs of others
Focus outwardly, on other people. Get your eyes off of yourself. Quit having a pity party. Find others who are in pain and think of ways to help them.
Stop building walls and start building bridges. And I can’t think of a better time than during the Christmas season because there are a lot of lonely people at Christmas, and they’re hurting.
Love is the antidote to loneliness.
A lot of our loneliness is really a spiritual vacuum. When you invite Christ into your life and ask his Spirit to fill you, he puts his presence in you, a presence that will never, never leave you.