Radhanath Swami – Loneliness : The Shocking Truth

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Published on August 10, 2020 by

We all know that diabetes can cause death, and that cigarettes can reduce our life expectancy. But what most of us do not know is that loneliness can have a similar effect on our health. On Valentine’s Day last year, the BBC launched the largest ever Loneliness Experiment with 55,000 people from around the world. Loneliness has shown to be as bad for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and to reduce our life expectancy by up to 8 years. The epidemic of loneliness is spreading so fast that it is estimated to affect 1.1 million. British people and up to 50% of all Americans. In the US 1 in 4 people have said that they have no people to confide in. Loneliness is not simply that we are alone, rather it is a feeling that you are not connected or loved by the people around us. This is why so many people feel lonely even though their lives are full of people. We may be in relationships, have friendships or even be married, yet feel that ache in our hearts. The root of our disconnection from others is a disconnection from ourselves. When we are not in touch with ourselves, it is very easy to feel alone even in the company of others. We may spend time following others on social media and less time discovering ourselves. We may spend time taking selfies, but less time becoming self-aware. We are prone to superficial relationships with others, simply because we have superficial relationships with ourselves. We may fail to have exchanges of love, because our own hearts are empty. But, when we dig deep and connect to the spirit inside, we are able to access the foundation of love which lies within, allowing it to flow into every aspect of our lives. Mother Teresa has said: “We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure of loneliness, despair and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.”

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