November 16, 2020

ON LONELINESS.

 
Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

I was emailing a dear friend of mine (who's probably reading this!) about my change in social media use and realized that in reducing the amount of time I spend on Instagram, I've empowered and freed myself in the process. I feel so much stronger in being able to catch myself when feelings of comparison and jealousy creep up and feel freer to log off and just take breaks from social media when I want or need to as well.  

To be honest, there were months when I felt like I was enslaved to "keeping up" with everyone else, feeling like I had to post, or had to scroll through social media to stay up-to-date. And yet, as I tried to keep up, I always felt like I was behind and was actually missing out on life right in front of me. 

In taking back control of my phone, I've become fully aware of how I engage online and it's made me also much more aware of my tendencies and temptations as well. 

As a single person, I've felt really disconnected and lonely during this pandemic. I'm blessed to have my immediate family in my "pod," but I've also felt extremely lonely and disconnected from my church family, my community, and my friends as I participate in life via Zoom and livestreams. 

Knowing that I'm in a spot where I can't interact in-person and battling loneliness, my mind jumps to online dating as a possible fix, so to speak. I laugh, because honestly how does one date during a pandemic?? If I don't feel comfortable going to church in-person right now, then how do I date someone? If you have the answer, please educate me!

But I caught myself in that temptation. I realized that I was only turning to dating as a possible quick fix when in reality, no one person, no boyfriend or even husband, can meet the needs of an entire community -- what I'm truly longing for deep down inside. I've tried letting a boyfriend fill those needs and in doing so, I've found myself compromising my own boundaries and standards for love in hopes that one person could remove my feelings of loneliness. A broken heart only made me feel lonelier, too. 

I'm not saying that a romantic relationship won't meet your needs, but it won't meet ALL your needs, either. And that pressure for one person to do that? That's unfair to both parties. 

So instead of hopping onto an online dating app, I'm reaching out to friends and mentors. Singing songs of truth over the lies and doubt running through my mind. Writing it ALL out. And asking for grace and hope from God. 

I don't know who's reading this, but I hope and pray that you know that you are NOT alone in this. Loneliness, especially in these times, is something felt despite your relationship status. I challenge you to dig deeper and figure out what you're missing or longing for and cry out to God and to someone you can trust -- you are not alone and I'm on your side. 

 

© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall