High Lonesome: A Spiritual Crisis

This has been a hard week for our country. The thought that we are no longer safe anywhere has entered my mind and probably yours too. I’ve entertained fearful thoughts of what the future looks like for my children in a cultural climate like the one we live in… but I’ve resolved to trust in God and the idea that human beings can learn to move in closer and come together to make our country better. I wish I had more light to shed on this but most of the time I feel at a loss for words…so let’s discuss Chapter 3, High Lonesome: A Spiritual Crisis…there were some powerful ideas shared in this chapter.

  • What was your reaction to the “High Lonesome Sound” and that loneliness can become a shared experience? I love the thought that “art has the power to render sorrow beautiful, make loneliness a shared experience, and transform despair into hope.”
  • What are your thoughts about the cultural climate of today where instead of coming together in our fear and sharing our experiences, we sort ourselves into “factions” and turn towards blame and rage?
  • What faction do you feel like you fall into in our culture today and how has that effected you?
  • How do you feel we are all spiritually connected?
  • How do you feel you can break out of your sorting or like-minded group? What could you do personally to “move in close” and learn more about someone else that adheres to a different group of beliefs?
  • What was your reaction to Bishop’s “feedback loop” on page 47 and the thought that “at the same time sorting is on the rise, so is loneliness?
  • I loved how Brene Brown and her family developed the term, “that lonely feeling” and that they could label places that had that feeling? Can you remember having this feeling as a child, adolescent and adult? Where were those places and why do you think they had this “lonely feeling”. I can remember as a child a neighbor’s house had this feeling. I never knew why it felt so lonely back then but I do now. This neighbor boy had parents that were divorcing and they were never around for him, he was always alone. He was an only child and he found comfort at my home with my family. His house was perfect and up to date with the hottest 80’s home goods but yet the whole house still felt incredibly lonely to me and my 6 year old heart.
  • What are some of your thoughts on dealing with unchecked loneliness? I liked the idea that we can 1) Identify 2) Have Courage and then 3) Connect. What can we do if we have trouble connecting? I love on how Brene Brown says on page 59 that “if we can find a way to feel hurt rather than spread hurt, we can change.” What does feeling hurt look like for you?




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