The world does not always let us in on the good of loneliness. It seems that almost everything under the sun is created to keep us distracted from catching this dreadful disease.
What if this disease that we work tirelessly to avoid led us back into the good of everything that we once believed in?
Unfortunately many people that come in and out of my office have built up a hatred to what were once organic cries of their heart. Why would I want to listen to the groans of my heart when the people who tried to love me quieted me with lullabies of: “It’s ok,” “It’s not that bad,” “Bless your heart,” “It is what it is,” “How could you be lonely—you have so many friends?”, “Quit whining,” “Don’t be a baby,” or “It could be worse.”
There was no big person to give them an invitation to ache forward. Because all the big people around them have become ache avoiders and say stupid things that don’t make sense to their heart. This becomes a path to practice “not caring” about what matters most to the heart of a child and eventually adult child.
I was sitting with a single friend not too long ago and she asked if I had any words of wisdom for her in her endless wait for a husband. I had enough experience and belief in that moment to tell her with all of my heart: “Let yourself ache for it.”
My heavy heart couldn’t help but testify to the truth that most things in my adult life, that I had let myself ache forward for, have led me to goodness. And I also know that it is definitely not always the goodness that I pictured.
The root of good is found in the ache. The root of evil is found in the apathy. We all have both an ache forward and an ache avoider inside of us. May we have the courage to hold both: the boldness to reach out for goodness in the midst of our apathy, and have the audacity to confess our apathy in the midst of goodness.
Kate Prevost is a therapist at Sage Hill Counseling in Nashville, TN. She was led to Sage Hill through her own personal story of recovery and interned for a year and a half while earning her Masters in Counseling at Trevecca Nazarene University.