HOW DO I STOP
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Loneliness is a killer. It shuts down one of the most essential support systems for our self-esteem – companionship.
Loneliness has you thinking that you can’t be any good because nobody cares about you. Feeling lonely contributes to feeling jealous of those who seem to have plenty of friends.
But don’t be fooled! Loneliness is not something imposed from the outside. It is not a virus that invades you. It mostly comes from inside you, creeping up amongst all the little setbacks, disappointments and rejections that you find difficult to deal with. Once you know this, you can deal with it. You won’t be the only one who’s lonely. It catches everyone at some time – and the good news is it doesn’t have to be fatal.
What the Church says...
The creation story in Genesis tells us that “God created humankind in his image…. male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). We were made to live with others, as part of God’s continuing work of creation. Loneliness was never on God’s agenda. The “new commandment” that Jesus gave reinforces this: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34). The loving care we show one another is meant to ensure no one is lonely or without the means to live in peace.
Jesus invites any who are weary or carrying heavy burdens to come to him (Matthew 11:28-30). His companionship awaits. In the Eucharist – in the breaking of the bread – that unity with Jesus and one another is celebrated. Our companionship with Jesus and our “communion” with one another is our strength against loneliness.
What the Bible says...
Jesus tackled loneliness head on by creating a community in which people would support and serve one another. But he went further, promising to remain always with those who followed him (Matthew 28:20).
The word “companion” comes from two Latin words, cum panis – meaning “with bread”. To be or have a companion means literally to share bread with another.
Jesus called himself the Bread of Life (John 6:48) and gave himself to his friends in the form of bread. Companionship is a relationship that leaves loneliness out in the cold. It is a bond that ensures we need never be lonely, not even when friends are absent.
If you’re feeling lonely...
Check where this feeling is coming from. How are you spending your time? Is it making you feel better or worse?
Reach out and ask for help. Talk to family, people you study with, neighbours, someone at work. Make plans to see or chat regularly.
Call or text someone you haven’t contacted for a while – just to say “Hi!” – then be prepared to be surprised where that action takes you.
Don’t mistake loneliness with being alone. There’s a world of difference.
An Auschwitz concentration camp survivor tells of children being given a small piece of bread to hold during the night. It was seen as a sign of hope that a new day would dawn. The bread “companioned” them through a terrible time.
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Identity:Identified contains 24 inserts and highlighting of key passages within the New Testament that are designed to help teenagers navigate life’s challenges with ways to identify why God created each one of us in the unique way He did.
This book also has a number of QR codes that link to a series of special videos that have numerous people sharing their stories and how they cope with life.
This is the perfect tool to help the younger generation in your life to follow Jesus as they navigate the challenges of life and trust him as a true friend and companion.