All of us have at one time or another found ourselves alone or feeling alone. We may be single parents trying to raise young children, a business executive having to make difficult decisions related to lay-offs, or a college student trying to find what path we should pursue.
While there may be others around us during these hard times, including family, there are times when we don’t feel that they understand what is really going on, and we do not feel that they are able to help share the weight we feel.
In times like this, we tend to feel alone, discouraged, and sometimes, even, like giving up. Often, we felt inspired or pushed down a particular path. Perhaps we undertook a journey together and others abandoned us on the journey (such as in marriage or a business). However we came to the lonely place, finding ourselves feeling alone is often an uncomfortable and unwelcome place to be.
While it is common to question ‘why’ and try to figure out why God, those we love, or our friends would not be there during these moments of need, there may be an important purpose to our lonely walks in this life.
If you have attended church before, you would know that at church, we tend to put on our best selves. It is the same with the first day of school. New clothes, new haircuts, new shoes, etc. are generally a part of the back-to-school routine. Our thoughts, actions, and tendencies tend to be heavily influenced by those around us or how we want to be perceived by those around us.
We strongly believe, however, that a significant purpose of this life is to come to understand who we really are inside. To do that, we need to, at some level, feel alone, free from the inputs of others. We have to decide who we really are, and decide what we will do with our time, thoughts, desires, and actions. If others are always around us, we may never get a chance to make a decision that reflects what we would do if the influence of others was not there.
For example, when we find ourselves alone at home, do we watch things we know we shouldn’t? When we are not at church, do we live in accordance with the teachings that we profess to believe in, even if others aren’t watching? When the opportunity arises to sneak away after accidentally backing into someone’s car, to take money we know is not ours, or to otherwise benefit at the expense of another, what do we do?
These are common examples, but to think through a few other situations, consider the following examples:
Jim often complains on social media about the state of the country and how government would be better if people just got involved more. When the local caucuses come around, Jim doesn’t know anybody that is going. He naturally feels inclined to stay home, but his decision to go or stay home will reflect a fair amount about who he really is inside and what is really motivating his thoughts and statements on social media.
Jessica believes that people should do unto others as she would have them do to her. She watches as her neighbors' garbage can blows over in a sudden gust of wind. Jessica knows that her neighbors are out of town, which means they need help to clean up the garbage before the garbageman comes, but she also knows it means that they will never know that she helped. Her decision to help or not will reflect some about who she is becoming inside.
In other words, our lonely walks are defining moments, moments that help shape our character, integrity, feelings for ourselves, personal strength, and view of others. Ultimately, our lonely walks help us see, in a very deep way, what we really believe. Lonely times can be painful, but they build and shape us if we do what is right, regardless of whether others see or not.
Ultimately, we believe that life will call us to walk paths that we know will produce loneliness and that will test what we really believe. We may be called to work for a truth that is not popular, we may be called to take on additional responsibility that will produce a lonely weight to carry, or we may be called to blaze a new trail for others to follow.
Whatever the calling, it may be one of the most rewarding journeys of our life, if we walk it and do what we are supposed to do. When we choose to believe and then remain true to that belief, even when others aren’t watching, we gain a depth of soul that will allow us to work to change the world, for good.
In other words, being or feeling alone is part of the journey of life. While there are times and purposes for having people close, for working together, and for having a support team, other lonely times are just as important in shaping who and what we are. Ultimately, as we walk the lonely path, we will find others on the path as well and we will not stay alone on the path for too long, but our character and self will be significantly improved by having started walking and remaining true to that which we really believe.
So, when faced with decisions and pulls that you know may cause some loneliness, remember that our alone times are the times that try and test us and prove who we really are inside and what we really believe. They are our opportunities to gain the strength necessary to accomplish our purposes and callings in this life. While we do not need to seek lonely times (they will come on their own), we also should not shy away from pursuing a path that we know will produce a lonely walk for a time as these are the journeys that allow us to reach places where we can achieve incredible things in life.
Walking alone is a common step in really believing and pursuing what you believe. It is often followed by finding those who believe the same as you. So, to find those who believe the same, we recommend that you start the journey today, even if it means letting go of things you are used to. Great things await you, as you are a being of high potential.
At Believe, we feel that each person can change the world, for good. We invite you to join our community to begin or continue pursuing your individual potential. While the journey will be difficult at times, we believe it will be a journey you will never regret in the end, and the world will be a better place as you are able to share your potential with those around you. It’s time. The world needs you to reach the divine within.