Social media makes it particularly difficult to miss when you’re caught on the outside of something awesome. When there’s a birthday party or a big event that you were left out of it’s hard to miss. When two friends go out and forget to include you, it’s easy to feel like “they” don’t like you. Or, as was my case when I moved to a new city, my old friends were all still doing their old things and I hadn’t connected yet. I missed my old friends who loved me terribly and I felt undeniably alone.
Getting connected is important. We were not meant to do this life journey alone. Withdrawing is NOT an option and neither is giving up. Here’s a link to the ways I got connected as a stay-at-home-mom. When my perfectionism or negative thinking start to drag me down, I work on a little cognitive restructuring to bring myself out of my funk. Because nobody needs to stay in a funk. Life is too short for that stuff.
You Are Loved
When there’s a party or event that I’m left out of, I have to remind myself that there are circumstances beyond what is apparent when those things are planned. Sometimes there’s other factors, like budgets, limited space, people who don’t get along, or simple oversight or miscommunication. I have to remind myself that sometimes, these things just aren’t personal.
When two friends go out together and they are able to make the time to be together and support each other, I remind myself what a beautiful thing that is. While I attempt to be a good friend, there’s only so much of me to go around and when my friends connect with each other and support one another, that’s more love to go around. While, I’m sure it would have been fun to be there too, I’ve got laundry to fold and dinner to cook, and kids to put in the bathtub. I want my friends to be connected and supportive of each other. It’s a beautiful thing when we have a support network.
Even in my loneliest state, I can think of people in my life who love me. Mom, dad, brother, grandparents, my aunt, my bestest friend from high school, college, graduate school, and those crazy days working as a school counselor. Those folks are still around. It’s my job to reach out and bring them back in. Even when life may take us in opposite directions. Even in their busyness, they still love me. I still love them. Even if I don’t call like I should.
If you’re struggling right now with loneliness, it won’t last forever. Eventually, you’ll get yourself involved in something awesome with some amazing people. But don’t forget, bottom line, Christ died for you. You’re never truly alone. He wants a relationship with you. He wants you to talk to him and for you to listen for his voice. He’ll encourage you if you let him.
Let me encourage you, if you really find yourself bogged down in who is doing what with whom on social media, if it’s consuming your time and making you feel horrible, get off of social media for a while. Reach out to people and grow your connections by strengthening your friendships in real life. I’ve had friends take a break from social media just to refuel their souls and refocus on what is important. Perhaps I’m blessed that my social media buddies are generally nice folks. I don’t see a bunch of drama in my accounts, so I don’t get drawn into it. But you might not be so lucky. Don’t be afraid to take a break for awhile. Disconnect with technology so you can make connections in real life.
Life is better with people to share it with.