As a way to continue the conversations in The Biola Hour, we've invited Hannah Harkness to blog her thoughts after each episode. This is a response to Episode 55 on loneliness and vulnerability. Feel free to interact with Hannah's thoughts in the comments below.
In recent years, we have had a rise of anxiety and depression that cannot be ignored, but what lies underneath a lot of students’ everyday struggles is often glossed over: loneliness. In everyday college life, friendship is considered to be held between those who spend a lot of time together or a room full of students who share proximity.
This week Chris Barragan, Assistant Director of Pastoral Care, shared that loneliness is an emotional state, response, or reaction from our body to the feeling of being alone and is something we should really pay attention to. In response to this visceral longing for true friendship, two parties must be willing to share with one another, which is uncomfortable, but allows space for each person to become more of themselves and to share a common bond through care and being seen and valued. Loneliness isn't the lack of people it’s the lack of mutual vulnerability. In the midst of being around people all day, without true connection, there is a big space for loneliness.
By risking being seen and known, we step across the gap of connection in order to love well. This allows others the space to show up with more of themselves, but also allows us to welcome those we trust into a space of mutual vulnerability that combats the loneliness which begs for true connection.