Is There a Cure for Loneliness?

To put this another way, loneliness is a subjective experience. It is worth being clear about this, otherwise it is easy to fall into offering solutions to others and forgetting that what works for one person is not necessarily right for another. Advice based on our own experience, such as ‘I’d advise you to…’ needs to be complemented by time spent listening to another person and trying to understand what they really mean when they say anxiously ‘I feel alone’. This is because feeling alone doesn’t necessarily mean feeling unloved. Sometimes it may do. At other times it is really about feeling a failure, or reaching one’s limits, or tiredness, or even competitiveness or guilt or insecurity…The list of what these words might mean stretches ad infinitum.

Excerpted from Dancing with Loneliness by José Maria Olaizola SJ (p.27)