I am a bachelor and I am working as a nurse. By the time you get to be 30, people around you are all married and you hardly see them and I’ve begun to feel
very much alone. I don’t make too much, so I tend to think that I can’t get married even if I wanted to. I read in the Riso Sekai (Ideal World) that the reason people
feel sad and say that people don’t love them or suffer from loneliness is because they are not doing enough to plant seeds of love. What does that mean? And how
do you put that into practice? I would appreciate your advice.
(W.N., 30 years old)
Response given by Reverend Tetsuya Abe, Seicho-No-Ie Ordained Minister
I think you are a very thoughtful person who has deep love for others. I know this because you are thinking of your friends who were recently married and are feeling shy and hesitant about visiting them. It may be that you are saying that others do not love you and you are feeling lonely because you are misunderstanding the meaning of love.
Some time ago, there was a popular song with the lyrics, “You lose love when you are seeking it and when you give it, you are betrayed.” However, true love is when you “give it seeking nothing in return and it makes people happy and increases more and more.” From that standpoint, I think you are doing a wonderful job of practicing deeds of love every day in your work as a nurse.
What is missing is that you are not seeing how wonderful you are and don’t realize that you are planting “seeds of love.” I think what you need at this point is to have the right outlook on life. If you have a good outlook on life, you will understand what a precious existence you are, and then as a reflection, the loneliness will leave you and you are certain to meet the person who is going to be your better half.
Reverend Masanobu Taniguchi, Seicho-No-Ie President, explains the following in his book, Daily Prayers: I am not a powerless, lonely being confined in a small physical body. I am one with God who is the wisdom, love and life that fills the universe, therefore, in God I am one with everything in the universe. (Partial omission) If I still have not found my life partner, it is because I have forgotten that I have already been provided with everything in ‘the true essence at the depth of my inner self,’ and have been thinking of my physical body as my true being. (pp. 185-186)
I know that you are worried about your income with regard to marriage, however, this is something you should discuss with the person who is going to be your wife. You can ask her to manage the budget on your income or you can choose to be a two-income family. This is something you can talk over and decide at a later date and it is not necessary for you to worry about it now.
There is something I’d like to suggest to you and that is to live the principle of the “Sundial Way of Life” which is to try your best to find the bright and wonderful things in this world (including within yourself) and impress them in your mind. Do not think, “I am a bachelor over 30 and I don’t make much and cannot even get married.”
Instead, affirm to yourself, “Even though times are difficult now, I have a precious job as a nurse, and now that I’m past 30, life is getting to be fun. I will now find a wonderful partner with whom I will share the rest of my life and enjoy life together.” It is rather embarrassing to praise yourself but this is very important.
I myself am living abroad for the first time and have been put in a position with many responsibilities. I have been encouraged on many occasions by my supervisor’s words saying, “You, too, are a child of God. Therefore, praise yourself from deep within your heart and encourage yourself.” I did as was suggested and was able to overcome many difficulties.
I sincerely hope that you will praise and love yourself from the bottom of your heart and I also think it would be good for you to care for your patients by giving them your loving thoughts, “May you be even happier,” and wish them much happiness. When you do, you will be planting seeds of love, and before you know it, yours will be a life surrounded with love.
Seicho-No-Ie has the “Seicho-No-Ie Youth Association” for members who are under forty years of age. I hope you will join them and deepen your faith with your friends, practice deeds of love and live a fulfilling, abundant happy life. I will be rooting for you from the bottom of my heart.
From Riso Sekai (Ideal World), June 2009, pp. 15-16
©Reverend Tetsuya Abe