We are in the midst of what is likely the loneliest generation yet. Community should offer safety, inclusion, support, and inspiration. In our generation, our communities have too often focused on imposing demands instead of providing support. For many of us, the demands are just unattainable. Chronic fear of failure, a perpetual sense of insufficiency, loneliness, and feelings of shame inevitably follow.
Regardless of our efforts to try to prove to ourselves or our community that we at least measure up or perhaps are even better than others, we fail. We know intimately every nuance of what terrifies us. We know the secrets which lay within each of us; and yet oh, how different they seem from how we view others. In short, on the inside, we are all so much more similar than we are different. Our secrets are mainly the same. Marriages crumble, mental illness affects our families or us, addictions take hold, families break, people go astray, decisions are made that can never be reversed. No one is exempt. Even though deep inside we know this, many of us continue to act as if we are flawless, unaffected; our families and we are perfect.
The gap between community expectations and reality compounds loneliness
When community demands perfection, and we project a false flawless front, we experience a fundamental disconnect. For many of us, this translates into a deep sense of loneliness.
Underneath this false self, ultimately we all crave a sense that we matter. We crave feeling that someone truly sees us, “warts and all”. Imperfections and all, we need to feel valued, important, and loved. Still, despite this desire to be accepted or connected, we stay separate and isolated. I believe this lack of connection; loneliness, is the plague of our generation. In psychotherapy, we explore the root causes of disconnection; the fear, self-judgment, pain, and shame that got us to where we are today. We find ways to return to our true selves and realize that we are all in this together, perfectly imperfect and worthy of others and Hashem’s love in this moment.
Therapy in Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York
If you feel that you need help navigating this loneliest generation, reach out for help. Psychotherapy with Marcia is available online and in-person.
Dr. Marcia Kesner is a frum therapist in Brooklyn and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If you would like to get started on your path of hope and healing, you are welcome to call now or just fill out the contact form and press Send.Please share this post!