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A Dozen Ways To Defeat Lonliness

6 • Unbalanced—a

6 • Unbalanced—a loner, workaholic, or a socially-challenged individual. • Lazy—depending on others to do all the initiating, reaching out, inviting. • Critical, judgmental and angry—these are all hostile emotions which drive people away. • Narrow-minded—closed to other points of view; overly comfortable that your perception is always correct. If these are problems in your life, be aware of them and begin working at ways to minimize and eliminate those negatives. If necessary, see a counselor or therapist for guidance. By doing some work on your inner life, you will strengthen your social portfolio. 4 Utilize a Computer That advice comes from Silver Spring, Maryland resident Floyce Larson, who says: “When my husband of 50 years died, I was lost. I was a lonely widow, wondering what I would do with the rest of my life.” Her son insisted she purchase a computer and then he patiently taught Larson how to use it. “Being online opened a whole new world for me. I communicate via e-mail with

distant relatives and old college friends. I chat with Senior Net members and make friends across the country. I resumed freelance writing and have also been published online. The first thing I do when I log on at six a.m. is write e-mail prayers. Soon after, my older son pops up on an Instant Message from Florida,” Larson explains. 5 Help Someone Who Needs Support “The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its greatest significance,” wrote musician Pablo Casals. Those who volunteer their time live longer and happier lives. Acting on compassion and kindness brings fulfillment, joy and purpose, as well as validating our self-worth along with that of others. And, by responding to the needs of others, you will allow love into your own life. Consider the example of Ches Hudel who was 31 when her husband and nine-year-old son died in an automobile accident four decades earlier. She was left to raise three daughters, the youngest was just over a year old. Today, in her 70s, she has looked back at her journey through grief. She says that reaching out to others was therapeutic and cut down her own loneliness. Mrs. Hudel began volunteering at a children’s medical center, working with kids who had cystic 7

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