I'm just starting a book by Ronald Rolheiser called The Restless Heart: Finding Our Spiritual Home in Times of Loneliness and I'm eager to find out what he does with loneliness. I actually don't experience much loneliness but when I do it's usually after spending time with a lot of people. I can write by myself for a week and feel pretty good but if I spend a day engaged in intense social interaction, that's when the emptiness can set in.
I am reminded of Anne Jackson's review of my book:
"For the longest time, I've considered my wiring as an introvert a thorn in my side. After spending time engaging with others, I felt so empty and overwhelmed . . . and lonely. With my calling as an author and pastor requiring me to publicly speak and consult, I wondered if I misunderstood my place in this world...."
Anne has since decided that she is pretty close to the line on the extrovert/introvert continuum but we can forgive her for that.
What's your experience of loneliness? When and why does it happen for you? How do you respond?