It’s good to be alone sometimes–we all need our space–but “lonely” is something else; something far more difficult to find our way out of.
In 2000, Robert Putnam’s famous book Bowling Alone detailed the breakdown of community and civic society. Today studies show that “zero” is the most common number of confidants, reported by almost a quarter of us and in fact, the average number of people we feel we can talk to about ‘important matters’ has fallen to just two.
Linked to depression, anxiety, interpersonal hostility, and increased vulnerability to health issues, loneliness is a real problem. And yet ironically it’s one that only an active engagement with vulnerability can begin to mend.
We want to start this year by talking about what it means to be lonely, what it means to work towards health in our relationships, and how to push ourselves to appropriately begin the movement towards a more open existence in community.
Alone Vs Lonely - Jeremy Duncan
If we don’t figure out the balance between self care and self forgetfulness everything will be out of whack for us. If we focus all our energy on what we need and looking after ourself, we will find ourselves very lonely. But at the exact same time if the only thing that drives us is looking after others and caring for their needs and we don’t spend the time to look into ourself, well then ironically we will find ourselves just as lonely. Human beings are built for this give and take and often loneliness is the result of finding ourselves stuck at one end of the equation.
Vulnerability Vs Over-Sharing - Jeremy Duncan
Vulnerability is as much about who we choose to share with as it is what we choose to share… and that means loneliness is as much about the health of the relationships we invest in as it is the volume of people we engage.
Sex Vs Intimacy - Jeremy Duncan
Intimacy is where we ultimately land when we built this series. As we walked together through this series we learned that being alone is important so that we come to know ourselves, vulnerability is opening what we learn about ourselves with someone we trust, and finally this week we talk about how intimacy is when we give someone complete unguarded access to ourselves.