Do not neglect to gather.Hebrews 10:25
During the pandemic, we were asked to shelter in place to protect ourselves and others during the time Covid-19 was hitting our communities. We developed different ways to work, educate and communicate using technology. However, we missed the face-to-face social interaction and human contact we all need.
We still see hesitation from gathering together as Covid-19 remains a part of the world we live in today. The vaccines, therapeutics, and supports to eliminate this disease are still being utilized, analyzed, and developed to discover how to stop it as a fatal disease.
As a result of this global pandemic, we have seen increases in solitude, isolation, depression, loneliness, and a long list of mental health needs. The focus today is on isolation and seclusion. Why do we pull away from society, churches, organizations, family, and friends?
Traumatic events can cause individuals to feel overwhelmed by the amount of stress, anxiety, and daily interactions with others. It is not always a big concern when individuals pull away. It may be what they need to do because of PTSD or other mental health needs. Long periods of isolation with no interaction with others signal to seek professional help.
Mental health, social-emotional, and overall well-being need to be a priority for everyone. We have all experienced challenges, traumatic events, and high-stress levels and continue to face issues as the crisis effects continue. Development of support, check-ins, small group meetings, positive reinforcements, and daily encouragement will help everyone. If you have not established a way to monitor interactions with others, please do. We must ensure all our staff, students, families, community members, and all those we are connected with are being checked on regularly. The checks need to be regular conversations, visits to homes, going out to shop, eat, or go to the movies. We need to gather together to check on our well-being.
We have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.Romans 12:6-8 NIV
I have experienced not one but several traumatic events in my life. During this last experience, I have placed myself in solitude to prevent triggers of memories or feelings from the experience. It takes time to heal, steps to work through the process of healing, and the process of forgiving. A support system needs to be in place to help individuals go through the process. There is no timeline based on the depth and width of the trauma experienced.
Solitude is a choice we make to connect deeper to God, cut out the other noises in life, and focus on our healing. Sometimes situations can choose us for us to make a change in our life. We may find ourselves very active and surrounded by people and then suddenly removed from the workplace. This traumatic switch can push individuals into isolation by force not choice. Then a support system will help individuals bounce back and adjust.
Isolation is often connected with loneliness and thoughts of feeling alone, depressed, and different negative feelings. Our mindset controls the thoughts, feelings, and noise we allow to enter our lives. When we can turn down the sound or the channel, we can find the needed healing to pursue our purpose in life. We can and will move forward. There are many ways to gain support, resources to utilize, and several ways to navigate to the path of your purpose.
Be the solution daily in the lives of others who need to know they are not alone in a world full of noise.