Overcoming fear of staying alone

Many who live alone may feel uneasy, vulnerable to harm. What are these people to do? Whatever an individual's circumstances, he can gain peace of mind and safety through an understanding of man's unity with God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, ''The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith and understanding whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily suffering.'' n1

n1 Science and Health, p. 387.

This spiritual and practical understanding of man's indissoluble relationship to God is accessible to all. We can all begin to discern and practice those spiritual truths that will enable us to carry on our day-to-day activities with perfect confidence in our safety.

The physical senses tell us we're subject to the material conditions surrounding us; that despite the precautions we may take for personal security, we still remain potential victims of another's actions. While this may seem to be the case, and we certainly can't naively ignore criminality, still there is no more reliable help than God. There is actually no other power.

The teachings of Christian Science stress the truth of God's supremacy. And, in accord with the Bible, they show us that man is the beloved child of his Maker, never for an instant separated from God's all-encompassing care. In truth , man is neither a victim nor the perpetrator of violent acts. He is governed by the divine Mind, the only genuine Mind, and when we realize this truth with the conviction that comes of spiritual understanding, we can live without fear.

For centuries people have been turning to the book of Psalms for reassuring promises of God's protecting care. Psalm 139 brought me solid help one night when my unrest over staying alone finally was faced up to and overcome.

Actually, I didn't have to be alone all the time - only when my husband was away on business. And for the first few years of our marriage we lived in apartment houses, which meant I could rely on nearby tenants (instead of on God, as I had been taught to do). Later, we moved into a large house just as my husband got a job requiring considerable travel. But I still didn't have to confront the problem, since there was one neighbor near enough to depend on. However, the day came when a long business trip coincided with my neighbor's vacation, and my anxiety had to be healed.

That first evening, with many nights to look forward to alone in that big house, I hardly slept. But I did turn earnestly to God to deliver me from the senseless fear once and for all. I read all the psalms, and this verse, referring to God, was most helpful: ''Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.'' n2 This gave me a tangible feeling of His nearness, eliminating most of the anxiety. The remainder gradually faded out, and now when my husband travels, I have no qualms about staying by myself. I rely on my understanding of God's never-absent care.

n2 Psalms 139:12.

It was Christ Jesus' absolute conviction of being inseparable from his Father that empowered him to demonstrate dominion, whatever the circumstance. Jesus said, ''He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone.'' n3 Nor does the Father ever leave us alone and unprotected; rather, He keeps each and every one of us continuously secure in His omnipotent care. And we can prove this.

n3 John 8:29.

The Christian Science textbook states, ''Existence, separate from divinity, Science explains as impossible.'' n4 To really comprehend the fact of man's perfect unity with God, good, is to enjoy His protecting care. How reassuring it is to know that we can never for a moment be outside the sphere of divine Love's protecting, saving influence!

n4 Science and Health, p. 522.

DAILY BIBLE VERSE I sought the Lord, and he, heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4

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