Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Single, and Loving It ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Single, and Loving It ; Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

From the Internet to the TV set in your living room comes great social pressure to be part of a couple. An endless stream of reality shows such as "The Bachelor," "Joe Millionaire," "The Bachelorette" fill prime-time slots on evening television. Burgeoning online dating services suggest that meeting someone should be as easy as the click of a mouse.

The overall message is: If you aren't in a romantic relationship, you should be making every effort to get into one.

It's easy to understand why singles might think they are left out or left behind as they sit down to a frozen meal more than once a week, alone.

A look at trends in US demographics, however, shows that the number of people living alone is actually increasing. In fact, over the past two decades solitary living has increased 87 percent. The 2000 Census revealed that 26 percent of the population lives alone.

But those statistics weren't offering much consolation to me on empty Friday evenings. Intellectually it was nice to know that there were lots of people like me, but it didn't stop those lonely nights or disappointing endings to dating relationships. Watching my friends start families of their own made me feel as if I was failing.

After one serious breakup, I was grief-stricken. For months my goal was simply to make it through the week without dissolving into tears. But I was also praying, turning to God to listen for messages of comfort in the middle of what seemed to be an unbearable trial.

The messages came. One was found in the opening line of the 23rd Psalm, which begins, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

This ancient biblical promise speaks so directly today to the human discomfort of moving on, whether it's from a cherished home, a job, or even an unhappy relationship.

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, has a special way of interpreting the 23rd Psalm: "[DIVINE LOVE] is my shepherd," she wrote, "I shall not want" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," page 578). …

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