[Today’s post is adapted from my book, Peace After Divorce.]
My heart was lonely, even when people were around,” said Fred reflecting on his separation and divorce.
Some people tend to isolate themselves. They spend their free time at home, avoiding social settings. They dwell on their losses and tell themselves negative things about life. They find it hard to accomplish anything. This can be normal for a while but unhealthy if you choose to live this way for long.
Other people avoid dealing with the divorce-related loss and loneliness of the heart by staying overly busy. Their hustle and bustle of activity keeps them occupied and temporarily eases the stress of divorce. Yet when they stop to catch their breath, the undercurrent of loneliness of the heart is still very real.
A Healthier Way
Consider seeking a balance between staying busy and not staying busy as you work through loneliness and the spin-off of divorce.
Find Healthy Distractions–When I was dealing with divorce and loneliness of the heart, my divorce was all I could think about. If you’re that way too, interacting with others can help you to get outside yourself. Pursuing hobbies and interests can help build your sense of self. Spending time with friends and family can help build your support network.
Find Time to Reflect and Heal–Being overly busy can consume all of your energy and keep you from moving past the deep hurts of divorce. Find time to become intentional about healing from divorce. Allow yourself to grieve. Work through the thoughts and emotions that are holding you back.
A reasonable amount of time spent alone may actually help you get over loneliness if you use that time to work through the emotions, thoughts and beliefs that are holding you back from moving on with your life.
Feelings of loneliness will likely fade as you begin to process your emotions, choose positive thoughts, build a sense of yourself, gain support from others, and define your new life in positive ways. Joining a good divorce recovery group for guidance and peer support can help.
The move from a lonely heart to contentment takes prayer, time and a willingness to work through the pain, let go of the past, and look to the future. It is an intentional process.
Pray—Talking with God is an incredible way to fill a lonely heart. “Trust in him at all times, people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge,” says Psalm 62:8. Even when he seems distant, talking with him will bring home your awareness that he is always there.
Be inspired and encouraged when you read the award-winning Christian divorce recovery book, Peace After Divorce. You can stop the pain and live again!
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Christian Thought for Today
See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.