In America, 27 percent of people now live alone. In other parts of the world, the figure is even higher – 32 percent in Japan, 47 percent in Sweden. Some of these folks may be enjoying the single life, but others are just plain lonely. Even if we live and work with others or stay connected via technology, recent research suggests that our relationships are becoming more superficial and less rewarding. No matter how many friends you have on Facebook, you can still feel lonely. This “loneliness epidemic” is on par with obesity and substance abuse in terms of a public health crisis. It can even kill you: The pain of prolonged loneliness increases your mortality risk by 26 percent.
Loneliness stems from not sharing your deepest self with others. Yet being a lone wolf doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lonely. Doing your own thing can be fun and nourishing. This is the province of independent Aries. Right now we have Sun, Mercury, Uranus and the South Node in this “me-first” sign. At the upcoming Libra Full Moon (April 4, 5:06 am PDT) the fiesty Aries Sun eclipses the sociable Libra Moon. Since this eclipse catalyzes the turbulent – and recently exact – Uranus-Pluto square, it can bring relationship tensions to a head. A little me-time is great, but this full moon cautions you not to isolate yourself overmuch or dismiss others’ needs. A little kindness goes a long way.
Much has been incubating since Jupiter turned retrograde on Dec. 7. When the planet of grand adventures and generosity charges forward on April 8, we (particularly those with Sun or Ascendant in Sagittarius or Pisces) are poised to take a leap of faith and share our gifts with the world. This excerpt from Deepak Chopra’s new book, The Future of God, shows how to become more generous of spirit (and thereby alleviate loneliness):
“Today be aware of old habits that cause you to react with “me” first. Watch yourself holding back instead of giving. If you see hints of selfishness, greed, fear of lack, fear of loss and other contractions, stop and take a deep breath. Just stopping the old reaction is a step forward. To lay down a new pathway, look for one opportunity where you can be kind, affectionate or appreciative. Anticipate someone’s need before they ask. Go out of your way to help. Ask what it means to be generous, and see yourself in that role. Act on your generous impulses instead of shrinking away from them.”