Wednesday, September 18 2019 - 11:46 PM
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All Alone

Many years ago, I read Admiral Byrd’s South Pole adventures in his book, Alone. I shiver now recalling his mind and body-numbing experience as he braved weather and deprivation. I think it was the lack of human contact that twisted and stretched his sanity more than any other challenges.

My husband is away at a conference for a few days. The dog and I are basically living out of three rooms in the house. I have not had any morning kisses nor had to hand out reminders. I have the whole bed to myself (and the dog), and all the food is where I left it in the fridge. If I make a mess, I have no person to blame. I get to decide about all the everyday stuff. And of course if something goes wrong with house, car or me — I am responsible. Living alone is a mixed bag.

I have met and encountered those people who claim they don’t need a life partner, or a spiritual community or neighbors. It’s true that other people can be annoying, confounding, disturbing and selfish. Yet it is my understanding that our brains need the stimulation of other human contact to remain healthy. Some believe that our prefrontal cortexes are actually large because we have the ability to sort out interpersonal relationships — not just do solo mental gymnastics. Our mental wiring is changed by the activities in which we engage. Even now, the Millennial Generation is changing in its capacity for real-time social interactions due to the influx of technology.

“The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone’” (Genesis 2:18). I am not advocating that everyone must be married. However, if you are isolated, or have shut yourself off from others and feel depressed, discouraged or blah — consider God’s creation wisdom. Try getting out of your igloo, basement, or cubicle and help someone else. You might need the pain and the possibilities.

Questions for personal journaling and group discussion:

1. What is the balance in your life right now? How involved are you with helping other people?

2. Write about a time when you were very hurt by another person. Then re-write the ending in a way that might be honoring to you and to God.

Karen Spruill writes from Orlando, Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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