I have just emerged from a breakup of a very deep relationship. I am 39. I have taken recourse to spirituality and am trying hard to regain my strength.
My family wants me to settle down as they feel that relationship wasn’t worth it and age is not on my side. I have asked myself several times, but I am not yet prepared for another man in my life. My mind wants to pay heed to what they say, but my heart strongly refuses.
I feel I have karmic debts to repay. Am I being foolish? Will I regret later? I love my parents.
I think you are far from foolish. Rather you are wise to give yourself time now, after that breakup. It might even be a good idea to consciously give yourself a whole year, before letting any thought of another man and relationship enter your mind.
Otherwise what you might regret is a hurried step into final suffering. It’s better to remain single than entering into a wrong relationship, or entering it at the wrong time. Your parents might not see it that way, but pushing to settle down, especially in your situation, is usually not a happiness-producing move.
Parents can be wrong, but you love them anyway.
This is an important time for you: to digest, heal, to find your inner center and strength again, to learn (“what do I have to learn in this situation?”), to transform yourself inwardly (“how can I cultivate the attitudes which this situation is trying to teach me?”).
Otherwise, if we don’t work on ourselves, the very same situation which happened now will happen to us again, and again, simply because we didn’t change our magnetism, our attitude, our inner patterns. Life is a school, and we have to repeat every lesson which we haven’t learnt.
Your thought of having “karmic debts” to repay sounds a little heavy to me, it might be better think that this is a good moment to transform “karmic patterns”.
Here is a little suggestion: in these months try to learn to live with the thought, “I can absolutely be happy also if I am alone.” This is the best foundation, as Swami Kriyananda taught us, for a future happy relationship. Neediness always ends up in trouble.
Your wisest reaction to this situation is that you “have taken recourse to spirituality.” These tough times are (unfortunately!) the best ones to hold on to the Divine Presence, to pray, to find the inner love and security. Yogananda even sang a song sometimes, “Lord, come to me as suffering, because then I know that I won’t forget you.” If you come out of this situation having developed spiritually, you will say gratefully, “Thank you, thank you, for this breakup.” Because nothing is more precious than finding our soul, its beauty, its abundance, and its contact with Infinity.
So the best advice I can offer you is to give even more energy now to your spiritual life. The best solutions come from Above. The greatest love comes from Above. True happiness too comes from Above, never ever from a man, no matter what Bollywood/Hollywood films, or our own romantic fancy, say.
Here is a good quote for you, from Yogananda: “First establish yourself irrevocably on the divine path; then if you marry you won’t make a mistake.”
He also gives an affirmation which you can daily repeat (later on, maybe not now):
“Heavenly Father, bless me that I choose my life companion according to Thy law of perfect soul union.”
Finally, 39 is young, even if the older generation thinks differently. We are now living in a new era in which old rules of marriage (age, caste, family expectations) crumble. You can relax. All doors will be open for you, even if you wait for a year or two.
May God’s love fill you, jayadev