This article is one of the Unity Classics written by legendary leaders of Unity. Some date back decades, even a century. That’s why the language may seem a bit formal, and the writers sometimes used masculine nouns and pronouns that were considered proper for their era.
When we feel isolated, you can rely on the Spirit within
Most young people can hardly wait to be on their own. They instinctively feel great powers and possibilities within themselves, they have high hopes and dreams.
Yet these same persons a few years later may be very unhappy at the thought of being on their own. A loss of someone on whom they have come to depend, perhaps the trauma of divorce, leaves them feeling vulnerable and alone.
Being on our own does not mean being deserted, it does not mean that we are without help, it does not mean that we are alone. Being on their own is rightly perceived by the young as important to growth, important to maturity, important to the expression of their God-given powers and possibilities.
Yes, It’s True: We Are on Our Own
In a sense, we always are and always must be on our own. No one else can think for us, no one else can meet life for us, no one else can know our inner longings, desires, and goals. So even when we say, "But I don't want to be on my own,” still it is what we must be.
We can be on our own but not alone. While in a sense we are always on our own, there is also a sense in which we are never on our own. There is never a time when we have only our human resources on which to depend.
Even when we are on our own, we have God's power within us; we have God's spirit always with us. To know this makes the difference between being downed by circumstances or being filled with a feeling of strength and confidence in our ability to carry on and to rise above self-doubts and fears.
There are those who are faced with some difficult decision. They may ask the advice of others and may find that another person is able to shed some light on the matter. But still the final decision cannot be made by anyone else. This is where prayer helps a person to be on their own, to make their own decisions in a positive and effective manner.
You Are Strengthened by Spirit
When we ask others for guidance, we may get glimmerings of light. When we turn to God’s spirit within us and open our mind to divine guidance, we are flooded with light. ''In thy light do we see light.''
We are on our own in the truest sense, for we stand in the light of Truth, we act from the high level of Truth, we respond to life as a spiritual being, filled with God's power, strengthened by God's spirit, guided by God's light. We are on our own, but not alone. We are able to make decisions easily and fearlessly, for we are following our inner light.
There are persons who are thrust into some situation which they do not feel qualified to handle, who feel left on their own and very much alone. Sometimes they find themselves without guidelines; there is no one to tell them what they are to do.
We may be on our own in a situation, but we are never alone.
Even if there is no one to tell us what to do, how to proceed, we are always one with God and have the light of infinite intelligence shining within us.
When we feel that we have been left on our own to find our way, it is our opportunity to stand on our own as a child of God, it is our opportunity to listen, really listen, to the still, small voice within us that is our guide and counselor.
“And I will lead the blind
in a way that they know not,
in paths that they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.”
You Are Surrounded by Support
The one on a new job, the student in a new school, the one learning a new skill, all are on their own, but not alone. We are meant for success and fulfillment. God's light is with us to show us the way.
When illness strikes, a person may be surrounded by loving family and friends, they may have excellent care and medical attention but still feel very much alone and on their own in their need.
What does it mean to be on our own when we are praying to be healed? It means to realize that our healing is not dependent on someone or something outside ourselves. It means to realize that healing comes from within us, that the capacity for renewal and restoration is built into our very body structure, that life and health are the natural pattern and response of the cells that make up our body.
To be on our own is to know that our body is the temple of the living God, that we are meant for life and perfection. When we can stand on our own in knowing the Truth about ourselves, we hasten the healing processes.
We can stand on our own spiritually, for we do not stand alone. We are strengthened and empowered by the living Spirit within us.
With the loss of a husband or a wife, a person may cry out: ''How can I go on! How can I cope with life!'' He or she may not be able to see how life can be bearable without the love and support and companionship of a dear one. It is not easy to face the changes that bereavement brings. Where there has been a sharing of daily life, now the bereaved are on their own. On their own, but not alone.
Always the loving Christ Spirit is within us, supporting us, bringing us peace, renewing us in courage, and giving us the will to carry on.
We can cope, we can meet life in a new spirit, we can rely on the loving Christ Spirit within us to heal the hurts of the heart and to bring us into newness of joy. We are on our own, but we are not alone.
You Are Never Alone
No one tells the baby struggling to stand, trying to manage that first step, that they are on their own. They know it; it is their first move toward independence. Their parents, as much as they love them, as much as they want to help them in every way, cannot do for them what they must do for themselves.
They can encourage them, praise them, rejoice in their progress, but they must learn to stand on their own, they must take that first step on their own. They are on their own, but not alone, for even the tiny infant has within them the spirit of God that is their inner support, their inner strength, their inner power to be and to become.
Sometimes we may feel like an infant struggling to get to our feet, trying to take the needed step that will take us out of weakness and dependency into a new and rewarding and fulfilling way of life.
A friend said that she was crushed when her husband of 30 years wanted a divorce. Weeks and months after the divorce, she still refused to accept it, still refused to give him up. But she said that she kept trying to know the Truth, trying to see the good in the experience, trying to come to terms with the experience.
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Suddenly she made up her mind to help herself and then, she said, change began to take place.
She says that she has come from darkness into light, and that God has blessed her beyond words. For the first time in her life, she is really learning and growing. She says that she now understands what people mean when they say that even though outer conditions in their lives have not changed, something within has changed.
This friend is finding a new life, she is beginning to learn how to live on her own. She knows that she is on her own, but not alone, for God is with her.
All of us want to be strong, we want to be able to stand on our own two feet, we want to be able to cope with life, we want to be free from fear and dependency.
But none of us want to be alone. And we find that we are not alone, ever, in any experience, in any situation, at any time. Always God is with us, for God is the very life in which we live. "In him we live and move and have our being."
God's spirit in us calls us to come up higher in our thought about ourselves, God's spirit in us gives us the strength, the courage, the will, the faith to refuse to be downed by circumstances. God's spirit in us helps us to stand strong, to be on our own.
We are on our own, but we are not alone, for God is with us.