Alone , yet not Lonely! – A talk by Sri Sri

If you ever think nobody loves you, know for sure that you are loved. The earth loves you; that’s why it is holding you upright. The love of the earth is its gravitational force. The air loves you; that’s why it moves through your lungs even when you are sleeping. The Divine loves you very dearly, deeply. Once you realise this, you will never feel lonely.
Someone’s company cannot fill your loneliness. Even if it does, it is very short-lived. You can still feel lonely in spite of being in company. In a real sense, loneliness can only be filled by being alone. If you could be comfortable being alone for some time, then you will not feel lonely. When you don’t feel lonely, you can spread joy to people around you.

People run after parties and celebrations, but for the one who does not run after them, parties and celebrations follow him wherever he or she goes. If you run after parties, loneliness comes to you and if you are in the solitude of the self, celebrations surround you.
If you enjoy being with your self, you will not be a boring personality. If you are lonely, then you can be boring to others. And that will make you more lonely! And if your own company bores you, how much more boring must you be to someone else?

Any company looks very good from a distance or but when you get closer to it, it pushes all your buttons and brings about many unwanted emotions in you. If you think some group is very good, then it means that you are not yet completely with the group. When you are part of that group you will find some bickering coming up.

Those who are in company all the time look for the comforts of solitude and those who are in solitude feel lonely and want to be in company. Everyone is looking for a perfect balance. That perfect balance is like a razor’s edge and can only be found in the Self. If you take out some time, say one week in a year, to be with yourself and observe our own thoughts and emotions, then you will get a sense of what quietness means.

From time to time, keep a little distance from whomsoever close to you and take some time off for your own space. From the moment you wake up in the morning, you are always with people and your mind is caught up in worldly thoughts. So sometime during the day, sit for a few minutes and get into the cave of your heart. Then you will not feel lonely even when you are alone.

Live your life well. If you are useful to people all your life, there will be hundreds and millions of people to take care of you. Mother Teresa and Acharya Vinoba Bhave, for example, were sick in bed for a long time. Do you think there was nobody to give them company? There were hundreds waiting to take care of them and all they did was to be useful to people around them.

One way to get over the feeling of loneliness is to do some service (seva) and be useful to people around you. The day you feel hopeless, horrible and worse, get out of your room and ask people, “What can I do you for you? The service you did will bring a revolution inside you. Seva always connects you with people. 
When you make service your sole purpose in life, it eliminates fear, brings focus in your mind, purposefulness in action, and long-term joy.
Every time you are unhappy or miserable or lonely, you are just coming in touch with your own boundaries. It is limitation and boundary that is the real cause of your disturbance. You are peaceful and happy until come in contact with your boundaries.  The moment you come in contact with it, then the mind goes on a trip and you move out of your centre. At that moment what can you do? You can just be grateful and pray for peace. That very moment, you will start smiling and however hopeless the situation is, you will walk through it.

You cannot force enthusiasm and confidence to come back to you. You read many books, stand on your head, wear nice clothes…, but nothing will work. When you feel useless, use that time to be prayerful and you will see no sooner, you will gain the confidence and enthusiasm beyond all your imagination. When you don’t have enthusiasm, you will share only your grievances. If you are filled with grievances, you will talk about only that. That doesn’t mean that you are miserable. Whether it is extreme joy or happiness or terrible misery, there is a part in every human being that remains untouched by that. Similarly, you can’t go on mourning all your life. Sorrow comes and goes.
How can you gain that peace which is unshakeable? Being individually happy is not enough. Our wish should be that whomever we meet be happy and radiate happiness. A frustrated man will create frustration; a jealous person will create jealousy and so on. It’s better to be lonely than being in bad company.

What is bad company? The company which solidifies your negativity is bad company. For example, you have some problem and you go and talk to someone and he or she makes your negativity stornger, then that is bad company. And you go to someone else with the same problem, same negativity, and he or she make you feel lighter and when you walk away from them you feel that the problem is not as big as you thought it was. That is the right company. Bad company brings ambition, desire, frustrations, anger and delusion. That company which gets you lost, and doesn’t let you learn from your own experience, is bad company.

Don’t think people who agree with your grievances, with your problems, are your friends. Those people who make your negative feelings, your frustrations, grow more and more, they may appear to be friends, but they are your enemies. Often, your own mind is your worst enemy. The negative tendency in your mind is your own enemy.

To come out of loneliness, you make friends with people who share something in common with you. But coming together in knowledge is rare. Be a friend in knowledge and uplift each other. Learn and unlearn from the past and move on with creative zeal and enthusiasm. The trying time brings the best out of you. The rewarding time gives the best of the world to you. Life is a combination of both.  

From Talks by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

via Talks By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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