Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

You Are Never Alone: A Global Safety Net

By Deepak Chopra, MD

The most basic need in anyone’s life is to feel safe. All other attainments are built from this baseline. If you usually feel safe, you are likely to be more productive in your life. But we can all remember times when there were serious setbacks. Then a downward spiral can develop. Whatever the emotion that overtakes us — feeling weak, unwanted, desperate, dejected, or anxious — there is one common element: We feel isolated and alone.

To provide the necessary support at such moments requires a safety net, but it is shocking that the vast majority of people can count on little or no support. Then the spiral downward becomes a crisis. Someone has to reach out before the human spirit gets broken.

In that spirit the Chopra Foundation has started the Never Alone Initiative. It is based on the simple principle of people helping people, using social media, online videos, personal contact, and in crisis situations the intervention of trained professionals who can offer immediate therapy.

When support is offered, people seize upon it, but the situation in many countries is so dire that short-term remedies are just a first step. An entire mindset must be turned around. This involves changing four toxic beliefs into healing beliefs.

Four Toxic Beliefs

No one cares about me.

I don’t matter.

I am weak and powerless.

I am destined to be a victim.

There is abundant data to show that being poor, uneducated, and embedded in an unstable or hostile social network leads to enormous struggle for almost everyone. But toxic beliefs, which are “in here” rather than “out there,” have been studied much less. Yet everyone’s future is determined by what happens “In here” — the fact is undeniable. Living in a rich, stable country without political strife is not a secure protection.

As the rise in prescription drugs — tranquilizers, antidepressants, and opioids — indicates, countless people spiral into toxic beliefs despite leading advantaged lives. The way out is through healing the human spirit. The Never Alone Initiative focuses on four healing beliefs that are necessary for a sense of well-being.

Four Healing Beliefs

I am safe.

I matter.

I am lovable.

I can achieve.

Even small steps in the direction of these healing beliefs can dramatically alter someone’s future. Going further, to identify with these beliefs can take a person out of personal struggle and suffering.

Taking someone in crisis out of danger has been a major success of the Never Alone program. The focus has been on suicide prevention, offering immediate support through a hotline that includes professional intervention if someone’s suicidal impulses are serious and immediately threatening. To date thousands of potential suicides have been prevented.

Yet the average person who feels unsafe, alone, weak, and helpless isn’t in immediate threat. What they need is a path to healing. The path is developed through four healing practices that anyone can offer to another person.

Four Healing Practices

Attention

Appreciation

Acceptance

Affection

Never alone is based on the conviction that every person in the world deserves these four things, although most people, even in the prosperous West, cannot say that they experience them on a regular basis.

The connection between these healing practices and a better sense of self has strong psychological support. Yet intuitively each one feels valid from ‘in here.”

Attention validates “I matter.”

Appreciation validates “I can achieve.”

Acceptance validates “I am safe.”

Affection validates “I am lovable.”

The vision of Never Alone is to instill “I am safe” first and foremost. From there the other healing beliefs can evolve with help, encouragement, and support.

Everything begins by connecting these four healing practices with a shift in someone’s sense of self. As E. M. Forster wrote as the single, universal message in his novel A Passage to India, “Only connect.” Make the connection with healing, and the human spirit can be revived before it breaks. That is the mission of Never alone, which needs to be embraced by everyone, not just those in trouble. A healed human being is the vital link to a healed planet. To participate in the global movement for collective healing, join us at NeverAlone.love

DEEPAK CHOPRA™ MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global, a whole health company at the intersection of science and spirituality, is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. Chopra is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego and serves as a senior scientist with Gallup Organization. He is the author of over 90 books translated into over forty-three languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His 90th book and national bestseller, Metahuman: Unleashing Your Infinite Potential (Harmony Books), unlocks the secrets to moving beyond our present limitations to access a field of infinite possibilities. For the last thirty years, Chopra has been at the forefront of the meditation revolution and his latest book, Total Meditation (Harmony Books) will help to achieve new dimensions of stress-free living and joyful living. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” www.deepakchopra.com

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