The Great Epidemic of Loneliness

The Great Epidemic of Loneliness August 23, 2016

I have a new book coming out September 1 called Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. It’s about a lot of things…how we communicate with our spiritual guidance, how we build a relationship with Spirit that sustains us, and how we can follow that guidance every day, not just when we’re in crisis.

Photo courtesy of pixabay.
Photo courtesy of pixabay.

I’ve been thinking about the one thing I most want people to know from the book, and it’s this: Our spiritual guidance is the essential antidote to loneliness.

I realize that no one wants to talk about loneliness. The words “I’m lonely” seem to carry some embedded shame, even though they describe a universal experience. They may conjure up memories of not being picked in gym, not having someone to sit with in the cafeteria, not feeling safe at home or in your own body.

Loneliness is like a great secret we don’t want to share. But who hasn’t felt cut off from others, whether it’s our community, our family, our spouse, our children, our God?

Ironically, we are unified in loneliness. But we’re subject to it for reasons other than what we think.

It’s true that we’re connected to one another technologically like never before. But how do we learn to discern our gifts? How do we discover our self-worth? How do we trust our inner knowing? How do we befriend ourselves for reasons other than what’s trending or what’s hot or what will get us votes or buy us time?

We’re not lonely for other people. We are lonely for ourselves.

This is why I think loneliness has reached epidemic proportions—because we keep looking at the external world to define and shape us, rather than looking within at who we came here to be.

We can see the symptoms and impact of loneliness everywhere: High rates of suicide. Acts of racism, domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse.

Loneliness can hide behind success. It can dwell in crowded rooms. It can masquerade as cynicism and superiority.

But here’s the thing: people are not self-destructive when they no longer see themselves as the Other.

That’s why it’s so important to remember one thing:

“We are here with you always.”

I hear those words every time I sit down to talk with my spirit guides.

“We are here with you always.”

Your guides, like mine, are here to give you comfort, companionship, guidance, direction. And acceptance. Always, always….acceptance.

They are here to help us see ourselves without the shadows of guilt or fear. And they are here to affirm our connection not just to a higher power, but to our own essential goodness.

That’s why I believe spiritual guidance is the infallible and everlasting cure for what ails us, reminding us that we are never alone. And that’s why I wrote this in the introduction to Let Your Spirit Guides Speak.

It’s easy to feel very alone in this world. Even in a crowd, even if you’re successful by the world’s standards, even in a marriage, even in a friendly neighborhood or busy workplace, we can feel adrift and far from home, and all our fears start chewing on us and eating us away, nibble by nibble.

This makes life a struggle that it doesn’t need to be. And it prevents us from fully giving and receiving in life, limiting our ability to realize our own potential.

You have helpers standing right next to you. Introduce yourself. Ask them to introduce themselves to you. Close your eyes and let yourself feel their presence. Thank them even though you don’t know them yet.

Say yes. Be willing. And above all, believe that their help is as present and steadfast as the beating of your own heart.

Debra Engle is the author of The Only Little Prayer You Need and the upcoming Let Your Spirit Guides Speak. You can find her on Facebook and at


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