Changing the Narrative of Isolation

Two days ago, I got caught up in Fr. Mike Schmitz Youtube Videos – as many do – and it was a major calling out that I really needed. I’ve been feeling pretty lonely recently. It’s the end of the school year, all my friends are leaving, I’m studying abroad in the fall, and I’m one of the only people still on campus. I’ve been really struggling to live out my singleness confidently in the arms of our God and I know so many people who are feeling the same way. The end of the school year is hard and it brings up a lot of emotions that some aren’t ready to deal with.

Last Sunday during the homily, the priest said that the current narrative of our culture is isolation. We are surrounded by hyper-individualism and people who are connected more than ever on social media and yet we are at a time when no one has felt more alone.

First, you need to watch this Fr. Mike Schmitz talk:

We were made to live in a community. We are made to be in service of one another and commanded to love one another like Jesus said in the Gospel yesterday. When we feel lonely then that feeling is there for a reason. It is there to help us grow in virtue, to learn something about ourselves, and grow in a deeper relationship with God. And yet, as Fr. Mike Schmitz says, instead of allowing ourselves to feel the loneliness, we shut it out with Netflix, parties, and overcommitting ourselves – and as a result, no one learns how to face their loneliness and grow from it.

When was the last time you sat for an hour in silence with no stimulation? For me it was yesterday, but before that, it was at least two months. I’m guilty of throwing on a TV show if I’ve got 30 minutes of free time instead of just being able to be by myself. To be honest, my alone time yesterday sucked. I definitely cried and it hurt like heck and I kind of got mad at God. But, once that was over I was able to just sit. The loneliness wasn’t gone but I could rest in the silence knowing my Father was hugging me.CentralPark-3And I realized something – it is through the loneliness that God calls us out of ourselves. When we feel lonely it’s because we are not being vulnerable enough. I challenge you sometime this week to sit in silence and not do anything, don’t even try reading the bible. Once you’ve faced yourself and your thoughts in an hour of the alone time go out and get coffee with a close friend or volunteer with some type of ministry. Do something to take you out of yourself.

Loneliness without action makes us selfish. We get so focused on ourselves that we forget there is a world out there with millions of people who also feel alone and unloved. Let’s break the cycle of loneliness and change the narrative of isolation. Friendships and relationships are the new waves of evangelization and if it isn’t us who take the bold first step then who will?