Welcome to The Renew Your Mind podcast. This is Episode 99, Feeling Lonely.
DIANA: Hey. Hey, everybody. I hope you’re doing well. Like I always hope. I have to say I think of you guys when I prepare for these podcasts. I think of you even though it’s me in my closet, because there’s great sound in here. It’s me alone in my closet, but I don’t feel alone. I am thinking about each one of you as I plan what I’m going to talk about and when I get in here and record. And I know not everything I talk about is interesting to every person every time. I do really try to choose topics that will be helpful to almost all of you, though each of you. And part of how I do that is by listening to the things you say in the Facebook group and really listening to the things my clients tell me and things you all bring up when you do a free mind shift coaching call with me. But this week, I chose the topic because of my friend Melissa Radkey, who I plan to have on my podcast very soon because you all need to meet her. You’ll love her. She’s one of my favorite people these days. And if you want to be entertained and laugh and also be encouraged and inspired, you should totally check her out.
So I could probably find a link for her. But just do this if you want to find Melissa Radkey because there’s so many Melissa Radkeys out there. Just go to my Instagram account, click on the people I follow, and then look for Melissa. So you’re going to find the real Melissa Radkey anyway. Melissa shared a moment on her Instagram TV where she had gone live with her own community, and then she reposted it on Instagram for everyone who follows her to see. But what she shared was herself being in the middle of a vulnerable moment of feeling lonely and man, I was like, what? What courage. This is so good. I mean, I’m seeing her pain, and that’s not why it’s good, but it’s so good because it’s so real. And I was noticing how when she showed up, so raw and real, how it touched me. I think this is the only way we ever lift each other up and help people for real. It’s when we’re real, which I try to do with you guys. I mean, whatever I say is pretty much me. But ever you hear me say on the podcast, um, I’ll probably sound exactly like that in real life, too. But as I watched Melissa be real and raw and honest about her own moment struggling with feeling lonely, my own head was filling with flashbacks of the countless moments in my own life that I felt alone. Like, really alone, painfully alone. And I immediately knew I wanted to talk with you all about feeling lonely, because I think it’s something each and every one of us deal with.
Whether you feel lonely just once in a while or you feel lonely kind of often, or if you’re experiencing feeling lonely on the regular, like, daily, uh, you’re not alone in that. You’re not alone in feeling lonely. We all feel lonely many times throughout our lives. It’s so normal. Uh, so I’m like, I got to talk about this because it’s hard, it’s painful. God wired us for relationship and connection. And so if we’re experiencing a perceived disconnection or a lack of connection, we feel lonely. And there are different emotions or states of being that can come with that, or because of feeling lonely, we have these additional emotions. One of those is depression. So I’m not going to be talking about depression on this episode, but I realize it often gets coupled with loneliness. So I just want to say this before I go on. If you’re feeling lonely and you are in a state of depression, I want you to know you’re the expert on that. You’re the expert who knows if you’re in depression or not. I have felt depressed when I was lonely, and I knew when I was okay and carried on. And other times I knew I was in a bad place and I needed to reach out for help, and so I did that. So if you’re in a place of feeling lonely that feels really bad and like you need help, this is me telling you, reach out for help. Okay? Don’t have to be alone.
There’s always other people out there that we can reach out to. In my friend Melissa’s case, she reached out to her own community on that day, and they encouraged her as much as her vulnerability encouraged them. Reaching out is a great thing to do. God wired us for relationship and connection. And so if we’re experiencing a, uh, perceived disconnection or lack of connection, we will feel lonely. Since we’re always talking about the mind on this podcast, I want to point out the word perceived. It’s a perceived lack of connection, because sometimes there’s people that we can connect to or that we are connecting to, but we think we’re alone. It’s our perception. For the last 20 years, I’ve lived in a house with five to six people at any given time. And I cannot tell you how many times I felt lonely. I felt lonely when I told myself I didn’t have any friends. I felt lonely when I thought my husband didn’t understand me. I felt lonely when I talked to kids more than I talked to adults. I felt lonely when my sister died and I lost the person I always went to to talk about all the important stuff.
I felt lonely when I didn’t want to talk to anyone because talking felt hard. Like, uh, many of you who felt lonely, I wasn’t actually alone. Day after day, there were people in my life. But the perceived lack of connection or disconnection is what created that emotion. Now, sometimes we want to feel lonely. When I lost my sister, feeling alone was part of my grieving process. It made sense. But other times, it could be our thoughts sabotaging us. Like me thinking I didn’t have any friends, because I’ve always had friends, at least a couple that I could connect with if, uh, I really wanted to. They would totally welcome my call and listen. Or I had always had a couple other people I could build relationship with if I wanted. If I was willing to reach out to them and courageous enough to reach out, they would have been there for me. Either way, that lonely feeling of a lack of connection can be painful. I also think we can feel lonely simply by being disconnected with ourselves. And this might be the most ignored remedy. When we feel lonely, other people will likely suggest ways to connect with people outside of yourself. And that can totally help. And I totally recommend it. Like I just said, I’ve had friends, and I can add I have family. There’s always been somebody or a professional or a mentor at church, a counselor, a coach, uh, a, uh, colleague. There’s always somebody. And I do recommend you reach out, and that can help. But if you’re disconnected with you trying to fill that loneliness bucket outside of ourselves, it’s like trying to fill up a bucket that has a large hole in the bottom. And we might get relief from feeling lonely when we go to church or have a dinner date with a friend, or have a great conversation with our spouse. But not too long after, we feel lonely again.
So I want to talk to you not about connecting with people outside of yourself to stop feeling lonely. I would like to suggest that the most important remedy that you can do is to connect with you and God to alleviate your loneliness. So I’m going to talk about three things. First, we’re going to talk about connecting with God in nature. Second, we’re going to talk about connecting with yourself by having a conversation with yourself. And third, we’re going to talk about practicing self compassion. First, connect with God and nature. He is the source of love and connection. God is. You can go straight to the source of love and connection. You can connect with this one person who’s always there for you. 24/7 could be three in the morning in the pitch black dark. That source of love and connection is there for you. Sometimes, deep in the back of our brains, there’s thoughts that keep us from reaching out to God and being vulnerable and receiving from Him. We might mistakenly think that he’s mad at us for our mistakes. We may mistakenly think that we don’t deserve his love.
We may mistakenly think that he’s disgusted with us. We might think he doesn’t have time for us. All of this is a bunch of malarkey. It really is. We need to push through these thoughts because they don’t help us at all. This is where I think, uh, well, I always think changing our thoughts is courageous. This is courageous. This is being brave to trust God. Sometimes growing up in this world, we hear all sorts of things about God from other people, or at church even, or wherever. We get this idea that God’s scary and a big authoritarian who’s not pleased with us. But that is not who he is. Yes, he has authority, but he is a good God. He is love. And I can’t recommend enough spending time learning about who Jesus is and seeing God as a person if you don’t even know where to start. And you’re like, what are you talking about, Diana? Uh, I would recommend that you read the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John, Jesus shows up as a person with so much love and compassion.
If you take your time reading it, I think you will feel drawn to Him and connected to Him and in relationship with Him. You can pray to him. You can tell Him the good, the bad, the ugly. Listen, after my sister died, I gave God a lot of ugly for two years, more than two years. He heard it all from me, but he didn’t flinch. He was constant, he was patient, he was there all the time. And you can get out and connect with nature too, which is an extension of who God is and how amazing and wonderful he is. When you go on a walk or go on a trip or look at a mountain or look at a leaf or anything, you can see his wonder and his goodness in his creation. And the great thing about connecting with God is it’s like I’m talking about filling up a bucket. He is, ah, a well that can fill us up, that never runs dry. Even if you have a hole in your bucket, he can fill it so fast that it will remain full if you keep coming to Him. He can repair that hole in the bucket, too. And all of this is part of repairing that hole. I say this all, and I believe it, but I know we can do all this and still feel lonely. And that’s because there might be thoughts in your head that you need to work on, or maybe you need to feel some legit loneliness as you walk through a painful situation and process it. You might be wrestling with God. I still say this is the best place to find love and connection. And it’s worth every effort to connect with God.
Wherever you are, wherever you’re at in your journey, whatever you want from Him, whatever you think you need from Him, go there. Okay. That was connecting with God. The second thing I want to talk about is having a conversation with yourself, to connect with yourself. Um, am I asking you to talk to yourself out loud? Sure, why not? I do sometimes in public. It doesn’t have to be out loud. You can do it in your head or you can do it on paper. If you do it out loud, you could do it in the mirror. I love having conversations with myself in the mirror. I recommend it to people all the time. Because your brain sees a person having a conversation with you, and it will send off feel good endorphins in your body that create good feeling emotions. Whether you’re having a conversation with somebody else or yourself in the mirror, same thing. All right, what kind of things do you want to converse with yourself about? You can affirm and encourage yourself. That’s great. But if you want to grow your relationship with you, I think you could ask yourself some questions and then let yourself ponder the answers before you answer it. And be honest. It could look like this.
Pretend I’m looking in the mirror. Why not? I’ll say, Diana, what’s something you’re looking forward to then? HM, let me think about that. What am I looking forward to? Oh, I know. Thanks for asking. Well, I’m looking forward to daylight savings time with more sunlight. I’m looking forward to flowers blooming. I’m looking forward to my son’s upcoming orchestra and wind ensemble concerts and taking my daughter to see Tim Hawkins. Thanks for asking. All right, then you can ask something else. Have a conversation, right? Not just one question. And done. All right, Diana, thanks for sharing that. I have another question for you. What’s something you’ve been sad about? Think about it and give a thoughtful answer. Other things you could ask yourself, and I’d use your name every time. Diana, what is something that’s been bothering you? Or Diana, what have you been dreaming about? If you could go on a vacation anywhere, where would it be? What’s a thorn in your side right now? What kind of pets do you love? Anything. Have a conversation with yourself. Think about that. Uh, go online and look for icebreaker questions.
Play it with yourself in the mirror and be honest with you and be there for you. And as you practice this, you can be there and ask yourself those hard questions. I did some light and some a couple of hard ones, but my good friend Dr. Rick, he has, um, people empty the jug with each other when they’re couples and emptying the jug is saying what you’re like the mad, sad, and glad. You could do that with yourself. Look in the mirror. What are you sad about? Answer. What are you mad about? Answer that. What are you glad about? Answer that. Connect with you. Be there for you. Sometimes we’re lonely because we think no one’s there for us. But that’s just a thought, and it’s not true. Because you can be there for you. God is there for you. I’m here for you. You have a relative that’s there for you or a friend that’s there for you. Or a neighbor or a child or a parent. There are people there for you. And you can prove this to yourself easiest by being there for you first. Okay? That was connect with God. Connect with yourself. Last one. Practice self compassion. I’ve already been talking a lot. This one’s going to be short. I’ve said this a lot before. You just got to be okay with where you’re at.
Be patient with yourself. Remind yourself that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in your journey. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be in your emotional growth. You’re exactly feeling the feelings you’re supposed to be feeling today. You’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing in your relationships today for growth or maturing or whatever. It’s a journey. It’s okay to be where you are at today. Don’t tell yourself you shouldn’t feel lonely. Don’t tell yourself you are unlovable. Don’t tell yourself you aren’t enough. And that that’s why you don’t have whatever connection that you feel like you’re missing. Don’t do that. Don’t beat yourself up. No, have compassion for you. You are a beautiful human being having a normal human experience. And that means sometimes we feel lonely.
You are fully lovable because God made you that way, and you don’t have the power to change that. Feeling lonely. Do those things that others tell you to do. Reach out to a friend. Go to an event. Call family. Go to church, make a date, all that jazz. But I’m telling you, you need to also connect with yourself, and you need to connect with God. This will patch that hole in your bucket over time so you can fill it up with feelings of connection. Connection to God, connection to yourself. And then when you reach out to others, you won’t need them to feel your bucket still. They’ll add to it. And it will be so much easier to feel connected and satisfied with them and your relationships.
All right, before I go, you want to know the boot camp dates? The Renew your Mind boot camp is a five day free event. Not only is it free, but I give away prizes to people who show up and invite their friends. Last year, I gave away an iPad. I mean, I don’t have any fresh new ideas. You got an idea, send me a message. But I’m thinking I might do an iPad again, because who doesn’t love a brand new iPad? Bootcamp is five days where I teach the first four lessons of my coaching program and the Mind shift tool that I talk about so much on the podcast. And it’s at the center of everything that I do with um. You here, and as I coach, it’s an amazing tool that can change your life, and I will teach you how to use it yourself. At Bootcamp, the dates are April 11 through 15th. I know that’s the week leading up to Easter, but that’s the week that worked for me. I hope it works for you. If you want to make sure you get information on how to join, make sure you’re on my email list, and you know where to do that. Just head on over to Rympodcast.com and sign up for the weekly mind management tips. Then, You won’t miss out on anything. All right, y’all, that’s it for today. I will catch you next week. Until then, take care of you.
As an advanced certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast dot Um.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.