An Antidote for Loneliness


I see only suffering and despair in my life. I'm 41, was widowed at 36. Although I come from a large family, I'm living all alone in an alien country. I have gone through lot of hardship dealing with my loss and finally decided that I had to find a companion but I have utterly failed. Everyone seems to move away from me-no, it is not my personality, I'm a warm, loving and spiritual person. Is it my Karma? Am I destined to live alone for the rest of my life? I feel so helpless. Please advise.

—Nilima, USA


Dear Nilima:

The circumstances of your life do seem challenging at this time. What comes in the future, though, depends to a large extent on how you respond to what is happening now.

The secret of prosperity is creativity. “Prosperity” means having an abundance of whatever it is that you consider of value. “Creativity” means that if one approach doesn’t work, then, well, try something else. Until, eventually, something works out.

Finding yourself widowed, you have been seeking a life companion. But so far that hasn’t brought the results you want. So let’s think creatively.

In your question, at least, you are presenting only two options: to be married again, or to be alone. But there are lots of unmarried people in the world who are far from alone. You don’t have the option of your birth family, but it is easily possible – especially for a warm, loving, spiritual person such as yourself – to create a “family” of friends and co-workers, and people who share all kinds of interests that you have already, or can develop.

Also, when you think in terms of “finding a companion” then you may not be thinking so much about each individual you meet on his own terms, but more as to whether or not he will fit your criteria of the companion you are looking for. This is not always attractive to people. It is more attractive simply to be interested in others for who they are, not for who they might be for you.

I would suggest above all that you get busy doing interesting things that expand your experience, your education, and your talents. What do you like to do? Or what do you imagine you would find interesting? If you can’t immediately think of something, then start exploring.

Community colleges have lots of classes on a wide variety of subjects. There are clubs and interest groups of all kinds in most cities. Some churches are as much social as they are spiritual, even specifically geared toward providing groups where single people can meet each other. There are places you can volunteer to help children, older people, those who are down and out, or people in hospitals.

Getting active, especially actively learning and expanding your knowledge and your life experience will accomplish several things at once. It will get your mind off your troubles. It will challenge you to become more in many different ways than you are now. It will put you in contact with other people. It will give you the possibility, at least, of meeting people who will become your friends. All these things will open the door to a brighter future.

Good luck. Have fun!

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Asha