Why You May Be Feeling Disconnected These Days

Blog post about how divisiveness is driving our disconnectionLately, interactions with others have felt more like a cold shoulder than a warm hug. Quarantine may be long gone but loneliness hangs around my soul like a morning fog.

These last 18 months have been hard on us all. Though we’ve regained a sense of normalcy, it feels like something has shifted at its core – society and relationships don’t feel the same anymore.

Perhaps this pandemic is just revealing what was there all along: that having friends and having community is not the same thing. That in the past we replaced meaningful connection with social gatherings and surface-level interactions. That the bonds we thought we had didn’t run very deep.

Being physically together yet emotionally empty can leave you feeling very lonely. That’s because loneliness is not a lack of company but a lack of connection. Being disconnected hurts so much because we were created to connect.

These days, I’m learning that hardships were intended to be lived and shared within community. But this hardship seems to be pulling people apart, not together.

If I’m honest, the world does not feel like a safe place right now. The divisiveness is further driving our disconnection. And the church does not seem to be helping. Continue reading

Quarantine Emotion #7: Navigating Loneliness

Social distancing while being homebound may be a new experience for many. But for us, this quarantine has been more of the same.

Every year when the weather begins to chill, I give a half-hearted wave to the world and tuck myself in for a long winter nap. I spend the majority of cold and flu season in self-induced hibernation; maintaining distance, vigilantly washing hands, wearing masks in clinics, reluctantly canceling plans with friends. For six months out of the year, being immune-compromised means that my world mostly exists within the four walls of my home.

It can get very lonely. And maybe you’re feeling lonely right now too.   Continue reading

3 Cures for Comparison

3 Cures for Comparison how to stop Facebook envyYesterday was a down in the dumps kind of day.

I was tired. Our summer has been full of non-stop activities, busyness, and stress.

I felt overwhelmed. My last few days were engulfed by piles of laundry, chores, work, errands, packing lunches, and scraping together dinners.

I also promised myself that I would accomplish my personal goals for the week. But an upcoming road trip + daily responsibilities left me with a bad case of the blues.

So naturally, I did what any of us would do. I mindlessly thumbed through Facebook.

And then I saw her life. You know the one.

Continue reading

13 Things Strong-Willed People Won’t Do

13 things strong willed people don't doStrong-willed people get a bad rap. They can be seen as stubborn, dominant, unreasonable or headstrong.

But are they, really?Dealing with a strong-willed spouse or child can be quite challenging. Our marriage is more unique in that we have not one, but two strong-willed individuals (how’d that happen?!). And odds are high we will end up with strong-willed children to boot.

If you fail to understand your strong-willed spouse or child, it can easily lead to power struggles, conflict and misunderstanding of character. Continue reading

4 Excuses That Will Keep You from Helping Others

4 excuses that keep you from helping othersDon’t do what I just did.

I was standing in the aisle at Walgreens perusing Mother’s Day cards when I heard her. A distressed, elderly woman in tears because she was lost and couldn’t find her way home.

Seeing her distress, my heart surged with compassion and concern.

But what did I do?

Nothing. Instead of lifting my voice or offering a hand, I sifted through each logical reason excuse while the entire episode played before me. Should I help? Should I say something? Should I get involved? Someone else should probably handle it.

In truth, the store clerk got involved and she likely made it home just fine. But I sure didn’t.

I saw the need. But I didn’t respond to it. And it disturbed me greatly. Continue reading

3 Cures for the Blogging Blues (and comparison)

3 cures for the blogging and comparison bluesYesterday was a down in the dumps kind of day.

I was tired. We returned earlier in the week from our travels and hit the ground running.

I felt overwhelmed. My last few days have been engulfed by piles of laundry, chores, work, errands, packing lunches, and scraping together dinners.

I also personally committed to myself (and you) that I would post at least once a week on this blog. But a crazy road trip + daily responsibilities left me with a bad case of writer’s block. I stared at a blank screen more times this week than I want to admit.

So naturally, I did what any tired and overwhelmed writer would do. Continue reading

Don’t Let Technology Disconnect You: 5 ways to engage in relationships

5 ways to engage in relationshipsThanks to technology and social media, we are now more connected than ever before.

Yet we are more isolated and alone than ever before.

Today, the average person has 300+ facebook “friends” yet the average American reports having only 2 close friends. 25% of Americans report having no close friends (Dave Sumrall, The Struggle is Real: Relationships).

Social media has made it easy for us to feel connected to others without actually requiring us to be in relationship. Continue reading

Being an Introvert was My Excuse to Disengage

why being an introvert was my excuse to disengageIf snuggling with your computer or a good book sounds like your idea of a fun evening, chances are you may be an introvert.

But that doesn’t mean you are shy. Or a party hater. Or that you prefer to live in a closet.

Contrary to popular opinion, many introverts are actually outgoing, creative, and possess a high-functioning inner world. This inner world is an introvert’s best kept secret; a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.

But seldom will it be shared.

Too many encounters with humiliation, failure, or rejection over time will cause introverts to shut down and close up shop. Out of insecurity, we will draw the shades and remain indoors.

Over time, we will become content to disengage with our world.

I know because I’ve been there. Continue reading