The following is part of a chapter from my book, Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. Chapter title seems pertinent to our current time, with the unprecedented event of the Cornavirus. Parts of this chapter have been updated in this blog, to align with the current Cornavirus situation and its effects on social isolation—loneliness.
The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved. —Mother Teresa
There is a contributing factor to many illnesses today, and this factor is one you would likely overlook. It gets little attention, yet it is impacting our lives in very subtle, yet tragic ways. I believe a major contributing factor to illness is loneliness—social isolation. A disconnect with ourselves and each other creates quiet, yet dangerous traits of social divide and discontent. It appears that many people today avoid connecting with themselves, each other and their Source at a deeper level. The consequences are becoming more apparent and critical for not only ourselves but our planet as well.
In my own contemplation, I’ve concluded that the main reason for one’s feelings of loneliness is spiritual disconnect, the loss of faith and belief in a power greater than one’s self. This disconnection manifests itself in the unwillingness and/or distraction to connect with Source and others to co-create, to self-actualize and make the world a better place. This results in seeing the world and life with the perception of fear and separation. I believe spiritual disconnection and loneliness are also the result of being defined by the self-created story we tell ourselves and to others.
Loneliness and Our Well-Being
Spiritual disconnect also creates a lack of awareness and the willingness to explore and ultimately answer these fundamental spiritual questions: Who Am I? — Why am I here? When we feel no relationship with Source, these two questions seem to have little meaning. Without the recognition that we come from love and the infinite Source of the universe, we can neglect a meaningful sense of purpose or direction in life, and the awareness of the spirit within us; which is due to a low self-esteem. The sacredness of the person and their life purpose is unclaimed. There are numerous factors that contribute to a person’s spiritual disconnect and resulting loss of purpose and life direction.
On physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual levels we are designed to connect with each other. Relating is part of our essence as a human system. Research indicates that loneliness has become a social epidemic. It’s affecting our health and sense of well-being, leaving many to feel alone, deprived and powerless.
Researchers are finding that the stress linked to social isolation and low social support creates a host of damaging reactions within the body and weakens the immune system, making people more susceptible to disease. The loneliness factor creates a potential link to diseases such as depression, cancer and heart disease. Researchers say that being alone and feeling lonely increases your chances of an early death by nearly 30 percent. We know an infant can die from lack of physical and emotional contact. Having a face-to-face social support network is an important coping skill to combat life stressors, as well as providing a feeling of connection and belonging in the world.
Social Distancing — Stay-at-Home
As we are now faced with social distancing and stay-at-home orders. Thank goodness, we have the internet, iPhones and social media. These modern forms of communication are helping us stay connected in safe and effective ways, as we physically need to isolate to contain and control the virus. Imagine what our period of stay-at-home would be like for many of us, especially extroverts without the internet, social media and iPhones?
With social distancing, have you been walking more, with your partner and/or pet? As you walk, have you noticed yourself and other people are saying hi/hello and/or waving hi as we walk by each other? This acknowledgement of the others presence as you walk by each other is a wonderful way of connection and an expression, a way of letting the other person know they are of value and importance in the world… You matter, even if I don’t really know you too well. I see you! Saying hi, smiling waving as we pass each other. This gesture and acknowledgement of the other, has been missing in societies for several decades now. The return of hi and a wave, as simple a gesture as it is, is a major and significant way of connecting and creating a more loving and peace earth.
Driven to Distraction
Before the Cornavirus engulfed the world population. There had been a dynamic happening that contributes to loneliness— the explosion and abundance of technology—the way we connect, communicate and entertain ourselves.
Advances in technology, have in one sense been very helpful, but the more we’re driven to connect through computers and iPhones, we lose a sense of personal understanding, of our need for each other and for real, genuine human connection. These distractions have increasingly created superficial connections with each other and ultimately with the Divine.
Many of us have become obsessed with different media forms. We say we are only going to watch thirty minutes of TV or be on the Internet for fifteen minutes, and the next thing we know, two hours have passed. Research says, the average person today will look at their phone or laptop 150 times a day. This equates to spending four years of our life looking down.
Look Within, Up and Around
The perception and belief of separation is the core wound of humanity. The feelings and belief of not being enough leads to this perception of separation and spiritual disconnection. This also causes us to look down and shut out life around us. When we do so, we also shut out our awareness of and deeper connection with each other and our soul-full selves. We also close off our connection with our Creator. Reality is, we are never truly alone. The connection and communication with the Divine, the ascended masters, angels and our soul is always available.
Loneliness results from the increasing disconnect from our soul, from love, from Mother Earth and the wonders of the universe. To feel safe and secure in society today, especially at night, our cities and towns are lit up by streetlights and neon signs; most building are illuminated. Because of this, we are unable to get a clear view of the stars in the night sky and the moon. With our need for man-made lights, many of us have become oblivious to the mystery and beauty of the universal lights that we ride with on this galactic merry-go-round. We lose the communion and communication with the higher realms of the universe.
In looking up at a star-filled night sky, we can’t help but realize we are not alone. We are part of a great wondrous expansiveness, surrounded by love and grace. Look up and around and know that we are that star and that star is us.
More so now, due social distancing and stay-at-home, people are challenged and struggling with loneliness. Due to the loss of connection with Source, this virus is showing us our created expectations and need for instant gratification. These ego needs lead to a disappointed mind and a closed heart. The experience of the Cornavirus is also showing us how much we don’t love ourselves.
Can You Be Alone and Not Be Lonely?
The opportunity from this virus, is to be more accepting of ourselves and others. To remember the love and goodness we are. To reclaim self-love, and heal within. From this inner healing and self-love, we can love and accept others more freely, and are not so needy of others and life. This virus is helping us learn to freely Love to Love.
Our experience with this Cornavirus, is also offering us the opportunity to Learn to be alone, yet not be lonely.
This time is also an opportunity to look up and around. To notice the blue sky of day, the beauty of the rising sun, the majesty of a sunset, or the wonders of cloud formations. With awareness of the natural environment, we come to appreciate that we are a part of something vast, beautiful and sacred. We are that tree we see in the woods, and that tree is us. I am that individual on the other side of the globe, and he/she is me. We all come from the same creative Source of loving energy.
Looking within ourselves, we discover that loneliness cannot exist when we experience the oneness of ourselves in relation to all that is. This dynamic, this relationship, is always and, in all ways, interconnected and interdependent.
If, while in this physical body, we accept and embrace the deeper connection and eternal relationship with our soul and of all creation that surrounds us, we will naturally connect with our brothers and sisters in more open and loving ways. Our man-made distractions are diversions from the infinite love and connection available to us. These distractions and diversions can cause us to have a sad, lonely heart, and may lead us into states of anxiety and depression.
Our distractions are superficial ways of finding meaning and purpose in our life. We can reduce these negative effects by being in balance. Be aware. Discipline yourself to strike a healthy balance between the use of technology, your interpersonal relationships and work commitments. Integral to maintaining this balance is the commitment to periods of quiet reflection and spiritual retreat, either alone, in groups or both. Look up at your neighbor, your world and the universe. All this offers us a sense of connection.
We are first and foremost spiritual beings. We are here to live by the universal laws and to live more from the heart; to connect with and learn from our feelings and emotions; to love and support ourselves, each other and our planet. We are designed to create soul-full communion and meaning in our lives. Our current times call us to a deeper more accepting connection with our self, our neighbors, our planet and our Creator. This is part of the awakening of the New Humanity and the New Earth.
Life and its experiences invite us to come together in love, acceptance and unity. Loneliness is the result of expectations, judgment, fear and exclusion. Connection is grounded in love, fearlessness, acceptance and inclusion.
May true connection, self-love and peace be yours, David
David Schroeder, LMSW, CPC, from Grand Rapids, MI., is a licensed clinical and spiritual social worker, certified life transition coach, and author of Just Be Love: Messages on the Spiritual and Human Journey. His practice, Transition Pathways helps people find healthy pathways to love, greater awareness and higher potential. Visit David’s website: transitionpathways.com David’s book, Just Be Love is available for purchase through the publisher: Global Summit House email: infoglobalsummithouse.com and Amazon.com. If you would like an autograph copy of his book, contact David by email: email@example.com