BE the thing you need.
a few weeks ago I read somewhere (on momastery.com, I thought, but now I can’t find it for the life of me) that when you find yourself desperate for X (companionship, love, acknowledgement, forgiveness, etc), you should turn around and offer that exact thing to someone else. If you’re desperate for it, you might be lacking it in your own life, so why not turn around and help someone else not-lack?
When you feel lonely, find someone on the fringes and notice them–sit with her, buy her lunch. When you are starved for affirmation, start looking around for people who could use a word of encouragement–smile at strangers on the street, help the person whose papers blew off his table.
It could be called “paying it forward,” or even “leaning in” (instead of letting the thing get you down, you give more out of your emptiness); ultimately, it’s taking the focus off of you and putting it on someone else–where our focus ought to be anyway.
Through giving out of our own emptiness, we often find that we get filled up ourselves (the math’s all screwy, I know, but that’s how God works–you know, feeding the 5000, the widow giving her two pennies, leaving the 99 sheep to find the 1).
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30