Saturday, October 16, 2010

Loneliness


Just last week, I met not one, but two WWII veterans. The first one, Bill, was a charmer. With his beautiful Charlestonian accent, he said, "If I had to go back to war to save someone as beautiful as you, I'd do it in a heartbeat." But despite his charm, he also said he felt desperately lonely. The other gentleman I met pretty much had the same thing to say about his own life.

Loneliness is not unique to autistic individuals. No matter our ethnicity, income level, or social status, I think it's safe to say all of us have felt lonely at one time or another in our lives. But what about those who are chronically lonely?

Well-intentioned people like to think that just going "out there" and being with others is the cure for loneliness, but it's not. I'm beginning to wonder what the cure is, exactly. People are living longer, but we also struggle harder to deeply love others over the course of our lives. When we get hurt, we withdraw, and then we forget that people need us to keep reaching out to them to help them get back on their feet, too, when they fall.

This is just one of the reasons inner/emotional healing is so important. Life is more than us. No person can or does live in a vacuum. What we do or don't do with and through our lives affects other people in the long run. If we heal and forgive, we'll love. And if we love, we touch those deep places of loneliness in others, binding up their wounds.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. ~1 Peter 1:22