The other day I read a blog of people’s opinions about Valentine’s Day. Comments ranged from loving this day for various reasons to less favorable remarks about its commercial aspect and the feelings of being alone it can evoke.
A New York Times article titled “Why Loneliness Can Be Contagious” says that according to a new study “when one person in a group begins to feel lonely, the negative emotion can spread to others, increasing everybody’s risk for feelings of loneliness.” Where loneliness is seen as something contagious, it’s vested with power and control to destabilize an entire social network.
Reading the blog about Valentine’s Day and the findings in that article prompted me to pray to see more clearly the powerlessness of loneliness to rule lives. My prayer began with acknowledging the permanent spiritual fact that God, divine Love, is the only power, and this enables us to overcome all forms of evil, including loneliness and alienation.
The one tender and caring God – our Father-Mother – loves each one of us unconditionally, every moment of every day. Divine Love excludes no one and never fails us, whether we are married or single, alone or feeling alone in the presence of others. The infinitude of Love includes far more than the material senses can grasp. But if we, with childlike trust, desire to know more about its nature and allow it to touch our lives, we will feel its presence meeting our needs in small, big, and sometimes surprising ways.
Perhaps the Psalmist glimpsed something of the power of this spiritual infinitude when facing feelings of isolation in his life. We can hear his understanding of God’s ever presence when he says with surety, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Ps. 139:7-10).
Through prayer, we, too, can gain a more profound understanding that we live in Love’s infinitude where separation from God’s goodness is impossible. Because this goodness governs our lives, loneliness is not a force that can contend with or oppose infinite Love. Infinity means that there is nothing beyond, instead of, or besides it. The infinity of Love can no more hold loneliness within itself than light can hold darkness. Where Love is present, loneliness has no starting point and no place to make itself felt or known.
Love is Mind – our Mind – and never gives us thoughts of feeling alone, but constantly communicates messages of abundance and unity in practical and fresh ways. Accepting these messages into our lives can help us develop relationships and activities that bring out the best in us. Such prayer can also help us put off unlovely characteristics of human nature that make us feel separated from all that is good. Sharing becomes more natural to our lives.
These words from the “Christian Science Hymnal” remind me that there is nothing complicated or effortful about the infinitude of Love:
Once more the lonely heart is fed.
Who dwells with Love hath perfect ease,
Faith, hope, and joy are with us all;
Great are companions such as these.
(Marion Susan Campbell, No. 34)
Divine Love, without a single vacuum or void, deeply cherishes us and makes its sweet care known to each one of us every day of every year. And Valentine’s Day is no exception.