L – When You Feel Lonely {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

“Much of our loneliness stems not from an absence of voices around us, but from an absence of listening to the voices.”
– Tim Hansel

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L—Loneliness

Unlike being alone (see A—Alone), loneliness can feel devastating. It’s a negative. Loneliness is uncomfortable.

But loneliness isn’t necessarily rooted in being by ourselves. It can also come from being involved in too many things.

Read this quote from Tim Hansel in Through the Wilderness of Loneliness.

“Loneliness does not always come from emptiness. Sometimes it is because we are too full…full of ourselves. Full of activity. Full of distractions. Paradoxically, if it want to heal the loneliness in my life, I’ve got to get away…to be alone with God.

Try This

If you feel lonely today, ask God where he wants you to go with it.

  • Is there someone he wants you to reach out to?
  • Does he want you to spend more time with him?
  • Can you make peace with loneliness until the season changes? (Sometimes a cure for loneliness is embracing the solitude.)

Also, when you are lonely, try listening more intently. More from Tim Hansel:

“It has been said that a bore is someone who talks when you want him to listen. When I heard that, it dawned on me that much of our loneliness stems not from an absence of voices around us, but from an absence of listening to the voices.

Listening and love are almost synonymous. One of the best ways to show God’s love is by listening. Yet we live in a world where all of us are trying to impress each other with the quality of our words.”

Learn More

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When have you felt lonely? What’s been your longest stretch with loneliness? Please share in the comments.

Coming up tomorrow:

  • M—Mirror
    God is in you. Do you see him?

26-surprising-ways-encounter-god_index

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14 thoughts on “L – When You Feel Lonely {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

  1. blankfloyd

    There’s a ton of wisdom in those words. It is the wise person that listens and seeks to understand. That’s compassion, which I agree, is a definite form of love.

    The opposite of love is selfishness; the person waiting to be heard…

    Excellent reminder, Lisa. Gracious.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad that your dating experience ended up with Barbara. 🙂 Yes, sometimes people feel most lonely in a crowd. An interesting phenomena that I suppose is unique to humans. I’m guessing your dogs have never felt that?

      1. blankAndrew Budek-Schmeisser

        Lisa, good question! I have the feeling that for dogs, like people, ‘lonely in a crowd’ can be an individual thing.

        Certainly I’ve seen dog groups with some outliers, quite happy on their own. But I’ll have to pay more attention, at least within the pack here.

        1. blankLisaNotes Post author

          I’ll be curious to see what you find out, Andrew. I do believe I’ve seen dogs feel lonely or depressed when their owner or fellow pet is gone, but I’ve never thought about it before in a “crowd” per se. But if anyone can know, it’ll be you. 🙂

  2. blankLynn Severance

    It is nice to see your message, Lisa, and to have your base it on one of Tim’s quotes!
    Thank you!

    I, too, have felt loneliest when in a group (not all groups) and all I do is listen. There are times I long to be heard. They are most rare which may be why I write so much!! One of the reasons I write!! 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I always think of you when I think of Tim, Lynn. You two are forever connected in my mind because you are the one who introduced me to his words. They still linger powerfully even though his literal voice has left us. I’m glad I listened to you when you shared him with me!

  3. blankSandra J

    Lisa, Beautiful post, wise post. I’ve been reading books on listening, so this post was especially helpful. I, also, appreciate your links and quotes. Fav: “much of our loneliness stems not from an absence of voices around us, but from an absence of listening to the voices” Tim Hansel. Thanks!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m curious about the books you’ve been reading on listening. Anything that encourages us to listen to each other more is a good thing! Thanks for “listening” here today, Sandra. And for speaking. 🙂

  4. blankBettieG

    Lisa, thank you for these beautiful words today. This: “when you are lonely, try listening more intently” is so much what God has been asking me as He has been leading me through the #Write31Days Challenge, specifically for “Listening with Chronic Illness.” Thank you for confirming what I have been feeling! –Blessings to you!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I’m glad this confirmed something in you, Bettie. We are almost halfway through #Write31 Days! It’s around this point that I start to wonder why I’m doing it. ha. Maybe next year I won’t write, and will spend the 31 days listening closer to what others are sharing….

  5. blankEd

    Yes, I definitely have a hard time listening to people. I don’t realize that in my own loneliness I miss out, or overlook other people’s loneliness. And which is more important?

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Good insight, Ed. Often when I do feel lonely in a crowd, I look for someone else who also looks lonely. And connect with them. It may or may not make me feel less lonely, but hopefully it helps them anyway. 🙂 And typically it helps me too. Thanks for sharing here.

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