Stay With the Loneliness


According to John Bradshaw, bestselling author of Home Coming, one of the final steps in healing our wounded inner child is learning how to stay with our loneliness: not running away from it or rushing into some activity as a kind of anesthesia.

God, does that hurt: staying with the pain of unfulfilled love, expectations, and aspirations. And yet, letting the loneliness come and go as it wants, exactly how our neighborhood dog did when I was ten, is, I suspect, the single most liberating step in my recovery from depression and anxiety.

I read the following paragraph from Henri Nouwen every morning as part of my daily meditation because therein his words lies my escape from slavery:

It is not easy to stay with your loneliness. The temptation is to nurse your pain or to escape into fantasies about people [or places or things] who will take it away. But when you can acknowledge your loneliness in a safe, contained place, you make your pain available for God’s healing.

Originally published on Beyond Blue at

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Therese Borchard
I am a writer and chaplain trying to live a simple life in Annapolis, Maryland.

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