I am a Myers Briggs introvert.  I acquire my energy through moments of quiet reflection and reading.  I enjoy being alone.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love being with people.  However, I am spiritually, emotionally, and physically recharged when I am by myself.

     Loneliness is a different matter.  I don’t like feeling lonely whatsoever.  Loneliness is an emotion born of rejection.  Lonely people can feel lonely even in the presence of others.  Just ask a long-time resident of a nursing care facility.

     Yet, the combination of being alone and feeling lonely can be deadly.  I call the mingling of these two experiences “aloneliness.”  Aloneliness is the child of feeling unwanted.  Aloneliness leaves one feeling empty and devoid of hope.

      I came across an article recently from Psychology Today that listed the top five human fears.  In top to bottom order they are: extinction (death), mutilation (loss of health), loss of autonomy (imprisonment or kidnapping), separation (divorce or change of geographical location), and ego-death (a poor sense of self-worth).  At the heart of these five fears is the scourge of aloneliness.

      Aloneliness drives many to take drugs because they fear not fitting in.  Aloneliness compels others to wear the same clothes that everyone else is wearing because they fear standing out.  Some folks buy houses they can’t afford because they fear appearing small.  Certain individuals seek love in all the wrong places because they fear not being loved.

            Though he did not explicitly say so, Isaiah spoke to the alonely soul with these words:

                                                “So do not fear, for I am with you;
                                                         do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
                                                 I will strengthen you and help you;
                                                        I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”
(Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

      Your family may turn their backs on you.  Your friends may unfriend you.  Your boss may fire you.  Employers may not hire you.

       Yet, there is One Person in all of creation who upholds His promise to never leave you, abandon you, or forsake you. And each of us experiences moments when we need to be reminded of things we already know. Therefore, the four most powerful words you can say to yourself when aloneliness strikes are:  I AM NOT ALONE.  Not now.  Not ever.