We do not want to be alone. We, us humans, want others around us. We want to be a part of the group. We want to belong. Some of us may want more togetherness than others, but we all want to feel that we have the proverbial place where, “everyone knows our name”. Yet there are times in our lives we feel isolated. We are not a part of the group. We feel like the outsider looking in. Sometimes we choose this isolation. Sometimes it is forced upon us. No matter how the isolation comes, we have to figure out how to deal with it. We have to figure out how to use the times of feeling alone to help us grow.
First, these times of isolation can help us to appreciate what it is to be a part of the group. When we don’t feel a sense of belonging, it makes us acutely aware of the times that we did feel that we were a part of the group. The times of not having allow us to appreciate the times of having more.
The times of perceived isolation also allow us to define for ourselves what we want and who we are. When we belong to the group, we often let the group think for us. We do not think as much for ourselves. The group decides many things for us. If there is no group, then we must decide for ourselves. Knowing who we are and what we want is one the important life lessons.
Finally, being outside of the group allows us to experience our relationship with God in a unique way. We are able to depend more on that relationship, hopefully realizing that we are never truly alone. While none of us want to feel like an outsider, it happens in all of our lives. As we experience time of isolation, they can be times of growth, including spiritual growth. Sometimes are most challenging times are times of greatest learning. Times of not being together can be times of being together with God.