The (dis)advantage of being lonely

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Today is one of those very wet november evenings.  I find myself in this weird contemplative mood. Here are some thoughts, while I’m sitting on my couch, listening to the raindrops falling down.

As I continue my journey with God I find myself very often in a lonely place, and in a place where I ask myself and God where I belong and where home is.
I have my home were I grew up – my parent’s house.
I had a home in Vienna, and there is a group of close friends I call home. Then I moved to Ireland and I found myself surrounded by new people and new challenges. And yes, I feel more and more at home here.
There were times when I felt lonely, times when I didn’t have the energy to make new friends. I wanted to be known and not always explain how I ended up here, what I do, what I did etc…..
Loneliness confronted me with myself – my thoughts, my being – and ultimately with God.
But let’s face it: Loneliness is scary! Do I want to face my problems or even God? – I escape it through watching tv/dvd, books, food and internet. We want to escape loneliness and sometimes ourselves. We want distraction, but there is nothing that really satisfy it. Nothing!
So we long for this one person who will take away all this – not only the loneliness but also the feelings and emotions that come with it, all the questions about ourselves. We as human beings need a place to belong. We need community, I am not denying that.
BUT: I also realized the beauty of loneliness. It is painful, it is scary, but it’s ultimately the place where I am human. My soul can relax, can take deep breaths, can get quite from all the noisiness and stress – a place where I can find God, if I allow myself to meet him. Every external distraction is stripped away. Suddenly peace captures my heart; sometimes just for a minute, sometimes a bit longer.
I don’t want to say here that I always enjoy being lonely. “Forced” loneliness is hard, it’s bitter and just not nice. But I try more and more to allow myself to meet my creator in my loneliness and invite him in. How? I do something very irish: I make myself and God a cup of tea and sit down and start to chat to him.

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