Sometimes the hardest part of being single is being constantly reminded that you live in a world of couples, families, and groups. Sitting alone in a restaurant, a person can feel that the empty chair across the table symbolizes all that is wrong in his or her life.
To many, marriage may seem the obvious solution. No more empty chairs, empty apartment, or lonely times. There's someone to give you a hug when you need it. Someone to talk to. Someone who loves you even though you squeeze the toothpaste in the middle, snore, and have a passion for loud ties and light opera. Someone to take care of you, and vice versa.
But not everyone wants to be married. And for various reasons, those who want to sometimes never do. And even being married is no guarantee against loneliness , especially if you and your spouse can't seem to communicate or understand each other's needs.
Whether we are single or married, to overcome loneliness we need to get at the root of the problem. Loneliness is but another name for mortal consciousness , that false sense of life that says we are finite beings, trapped within our own thoughts and bodies, and never able to fully overcome the mental and physical barriers that seem to separate conscious beings.
The heart's deepest longing is for genuine communion, the ability to fully know and be known. This great hunger is only fulfilled as we gain release from the prison house of the physical senses and begin to feel the brotherhood of creation that exists in God, the one divine Mind.
To achieve such communion, we must stretch our mental horizons, open ourselves up to new dimensions of thought and love. Though we now ''see through a glass, darkly'' and know ourselves and others only ''in part,'' we can, here and now, begin to attain that consciousness which sees God ''face to face'' and that knows His creation even as it is known of God.n1
n1 See I Corinthians 13:12.
This spiritual consciousness of God and creation is that state of Mind which Christ Jesus individually expressed as the Son of God. Christ, the divine nature Jesus exemplified, is the emanation of the Father Mind, God. In its totality, Christ includes all conscious identities and constitutes the family of man in God's image and likeness. And because all identities in Christ have one Mind, God, Mind's spiritual offspring know each other with a love that transcends human conception. Theirs is the joy of knowing each other as divine Mind, Love, created them.
Obviously, such transcendent communion is now only faintly glimpsed through the distortions and limitations of the physical senses. But Jesus prayed that this unity of Love's creation become manifest to all who believe on him. The Master's desire was that ''they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.''n2
n2 John 17:21.
How can we bring to light this living, loving reality in our own lives and gain our freedom from mortality's loneliness and isolation? As always, Christ is the Way, and these words of Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded Christian Science, the Science of Christ, give one a starting point: ''It should be thoroughly understood that all men have one Mind, one God and Father, one Life, Truth, and Love.''
Why is this understanding essential? Because, as Mrs. Eddy goes on to explain: ''Mankind will become perfect in proportion as this fact becomes apparent, war will cease and the true brotherhood of man will be established. Having no other gods, turning to no other but the one perfect Mind to guide him, man is the likeness of God, pure and eternal, having that Mind which was also in Christ.''n3
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 467.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God. Romans 15:5,6