Worrying About Others


My attachment towards my family seems to be increasing nowadays. Whenever my parents or brother feel worried, depressed, I too feel for them in the same magnitude. I always try to remind myself that attachment is just a delusion, and God is the sole Being one should be "attached" to. But inspite of all this, I'm not able to break away from such feelings and thoughts. I'm too concerned for them nowadays. How can I be peaceful with the feeling of being non attached and concentrating on God only?

—Kailash Menon, Saudi Arabia


Dear Kailash,

It is certainly difficult to watch people we love go through difficult times. Sometimes as we grow spiritually and open our heart to more love, we also become more sensitive to the pain of others.

So, your problem can have that as a positive element to it.

But this is a phase of growing spiritually, and I encourage you to move beyond it.

Perhaps we should describe the situation differently from the way you described it, which was in terms of attachment.

Another way to look at it is this: If you were drowning, would you prefer to have someone, out of great love for you, jump in the water so that they could drown with you? Or would you prefer for them to stand on the shore, throw you a rope, and pull you out of the water?

Obviously, the latter.

Through practice of meditation, you can become both stronger in your love for others as well as more calm in yourself, so that you can truly be helpful to others.

I encourage you to learn about both meditation and prayer. When you become very calm in meditation and hold others in prayer in the light of God, you will do much more to truly help them than to be emotionally upset yourself, which actually does nothing for the loved one, and can even make their situation worse.

Please take this suggestion seriously – for your own sake and for the sake of your beloved family.

In divine friendship,