DO you dread being alone? Does the thought of a long weekend or vacation by yourself send you into a panic? Do you fill your life with frantic activity, with people and things and sensations, perhaps with alcohol or drugs, to blot out a dark emptiness inside? Many people do. The fear of being alone, or abandoned, is one of the great fears that haunt people. Is there a way to break free of this life-destroying fear? Human companionship, of itself, isn't the solution. One can have all the externals -- friends, companionship, a good job -- and still feel profoundly lonely and terrified inside.
Psychology often traces the roots of this irrational fear to childhood fear of being abandoned. But actually, the roots go deeper than that. They originate in material, human consciousness itself, in the sense of being a finite, mortal entity alone in a hostile, material universe. The whole mortal sense of life is the problem.
It's not really separation from the comfort and safety of the womb, but the sense of separation from God, our divine Father-Mother, that produces our fears. Any lasting solution, then, is not going to be psychological but spiritual. When we understand man's unity with God, who is infinite, divine Love, there is no fear but rather the incredible peace and contentment of spiritual oneness.
Many people have already realized that their need is a spiritual one, that the problem isn't so much lack of human companionship as a need for divine companionship -- for communion with God. But what is the nature of the God we are to open our hearts to? Perhaps our sense of God is as foreboding and dark as the fears in our hearts. The good news is that the reality of God exceeds our highest hopes and that we can always turn to Him as our ever-loving Father-Mother.
Isn't this what Christ Jesus' life assures us? If we want to know the true nature of God, divine Love, we have only to look at the infinitely loving, caring life of His Son. The key is to love and hold in our hearts the spiritual message of life we recognize in Jesus' example and words. As Jesus said, ``If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.''1
How could we feel empty or alone filled with such divine company? Think of divine Love literally living in our hearts and minds, filling us with a sense of our own blessed sonship!
Further insight into just how good and wonderful our divine Father-Mother is can be found in a passage from a book called Unity of Good by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. Her words convey something of God's absolute, transcendent nature, but also of His infinite love and care for His creation. She writes: ``God is All-in-all. Hence He is in Himself only, in His own nature and character, and is perfect being, or consciousness. He is all the Life and Mind there is or can be. Within Himself is every embodiment of Life and Mind.
``If He is All, He can have no consciousness of anything unlike Himself; because, if He is omnipresent, there can be nothing outside of Himself.
``Now this self-same God is our helper. He pities us. He has mercy upon us, and guides every event of our careers. He is near to them who adore Him. To understand Him, without a single taint of our mortal, finite sense of sin, sickness, or death, is to approach Him and become like Him.''2
Understanding even a little of this true nature of God and of man as the child of God's care gives each of us a fresh starting point. Regardless of our human origin and upbringing, we can claim an origin and selfhood that are wholly spiritual -- absolutely innocent, pure, and good. We can begin to see -- and feel -- that loneliness and terror of being alone are illegitimate because they argue that we can be separated from ever-present God, good. The spiritual fact is that man, God's man, is always at one with his Father-Mother and can never be outside God's loving care. Man is actually God's expression, the embodiment of good, and forever manifests all the joy, happiness, goodness, contentment, freedom, and harmony that are God's. This is what it means to be the children of God.
Accepting these spiritual truths into our hearts is the beginning of the end of loneliness and its fear. Although fear of being alone may argue vehemently for its power and reality in our lives, we can trust our Father-Mother to meet our human needs, including the need for right human companionship. But the real healing takes place first in our own hearts, as we learn to stop thinking of ourselves as lonely, abandoned mortals and begin to claim our oneness with and inseparability from our creator and all His goodness.
1John 14:23. 2Unity of Good, pp. 3-4.
Healing through prayer is explored in more detail in a weekly magazine, the Christian Science Sentinel. BIBLE VERSE Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
II Corinthians 1:3, 4