Several years ago, I read that the UK created a new position, a Minister of Loneliness. Here are a couple of the interesting articles about it:
From the New York Times - "U.K. Appoints a Minister for Loneliness"
From the BBC - "Minister for loneliness appointed to continue Jo Cox's work"
There were a couple of things I found interesting from all the various articles out there. One was that studies have shown that loneliness is as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Wow! The other was how the articles focused on two groups that are lonely, the elderly living alone, who don't have anyone; and young students in university, who have others around, but isolate themselves.
This made me look at myself and how I've dealt with loneliness in my past. There were times when I wanted to be with people, but couldn't and that had its own flavor. Then there were the times I was with people and felt alone. I think for me the worst was the second, living in the same house as another person, working and being with others all day long and feeling disconnected and utterly and totally alone. At least when I was alone and feeling alone, there could be a reason. It was hard to understand how I could feel so alone, being so physically close to someone, yet feel so lonely.
Years later, I get it. I can see how the emotional disconnection and the judgments and the expectations and hurt and fear all created that sense of loneliness. It's an interesting exploration to look inside and see the roots of this. And I'm hoping the new Minister of Loneliness will see this, too.
(Note: Every day, or let's say at least most days, I write a post about something I have seen or thought about as it relates to relationships and what I've learned over the last couple years with OWA. Then, each Wednesday night at 7:00 pm (EST) I cover one topic very specific supporting meditations ... To help me out, I would so appreciate it if you would click on the heart at the bottom of this post if this is something you think people would be interested in learning more about, so I can add it to my Wednesday line up. Thank you.)