What I have to say will get some people angry, but I don't care because it needs to be said.
Genesis 2:18 says, "And the Lord God said, it is not good for man to be alone."
Unfortunately, we are living in a time when electronic connection is so easy and yet human connection is failing. I talk to people every day who are lonely. Really, devastatingly lonely. They are not all women, neither are they all men. Although most come from broken relationships or the loss of a loved one.
I am seeing a trend in popular teaching that I find very disturbing (this is where some of you are going to get really mad at me) The teaching says basically that, You need to love yourself. You do not need anyone in your life. If you cannot be happy alone, you are weak. There is something inherently wrong with you. This teaching goes on to encourage people to find themselves and then celebrate that. It encourages them to travel alone, work alone, dream alone, write alone, create art alone, eat alone, sleep alone, love alone. I have observed that most of the people who embrace this teaching ARE already alone. They have been through horrible relationships or painful loss. They get really angry when you talk about traditional families or relationships that involve compromising in order to maintain harmony. I can see their pain. They are embracing this teaching because it helps them manage their pain. Yes, it is important to love yourself. Yes, it is good to do what you love and to find yourself, but on a very base, foundational level, we were never meant to be alone.
I live in Mexico. I spent the last 7 years traveling and living all through Latin America. The people here are generally much happier than the people in the USA and Canada. (Although, I see that the US seems to be the worst of the two). I know there are other countries that are dealing with serious depression and anxiety, like Japan. But I can only talk about my own experience.The Latin American people are well connected. Their extended families often live close by. They spend a lot of time together, sharing meals, hanging out, dancing, talking, just living. They value relationship above all else. And I believe that is the reason they seem generally happy. The indigenous people I have met who have left their homes to work in another country tell me that they cry themselves to sleep. They grieve because they are alone.
Did you know you can actually die from loneliness?
Covering up your pain y embracing a teaching that celebrates individualism and independence at the expense of connection may help you feel better on the surface for a while. But, that feeling of emptiness inside does not go away. It festers, eating away at you in your dreams. You find yourself constantly fighting against it until you are exhausted.
I feel just awful. I am fully aware that this is not a problem that is easily fixed. I am also aware that our electronic connections on FB, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media are no replacement for a real hug, a heart to heart conversation, or sleeping nestled in the arms of someone you love.
Please, don't be angry. If you are, it is probably because this is hitting home and the pain is too much to bear. It is probably because you are embracing a teaching of celebrating loneliness in order to keep yourself alive. If you can tell yourself that you are stronger, wiser, more fully alive, then you will be able to get through another day.
I wish so much more for you than that.
with all love and compassion