Follow Us On:

Pastor’s Desk: The loneliness within

Posted on Tuesday, March 19, 2024 at 4:28 pm

Reverend Sean McIntrye, Centralia United Methodist Church

It’s been said that we are in a loneliness epidemic in America today. The truth is that we have been for some time. Over half of American adults today experience measurable levels of loneliness. If you think this is a COVID casualty, you may be slightly right, but that same number of loneliness was just under or around half prior to the COVID pandemic, so it was loneliness at epidemic levels even before the pandemic. People are spending less time with each other across all age groups. I don’t have all the answers, but I’d like to examine the loneliness within ourselves, the repercussions of such loneliness and a potential solution.

When we see information like I just shared, our immediate inclination is to look at other people and wonder why they are feeling lonely or think about what other people need to do to fix the problem. But in reality we must seek the places in our own lives we experience the heartbreaking loneliness we may feel ourselves. Because we might be inclined to look at such statements and blame the lifestyle of others for them feeling that way and not examine how we might be lonely as and/or how we might contribute to the loneliness of others. Because the ramifications are real! Loneliness increases the likelihood of dementia, heart disease and more. It’s almost like we were MADE for real, deep connections. We know that just being around people doesn’t make us less lonely. Making deep connections with others where we feel seen and known and loved is what erases loneliness.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard