Seldom is it that somebody speaks out so clearly about feelings and a taboo subject such as loneliness. Research shows that over 40 percent of people over 80 suffer from loneliness. Here is what Reidun did. She placed the following add in her local newspaper the Aften last week:
"Lonely widow without family wants someone to be together with on Christmas Eve. Pays well. Box #1139."
The response has been wonderful to date with 35 invitations and no payment wanted by anybody. As well she has become a subject on social media, such as Facebook, and has been interviewed on Norways national TV Station, NRK.
Here is what is fantastic about this story. If you take a risk you can achieve or do something. No risk no reward. Reidun could have sat alone with her pride and her fear of taking a risk or she could step out and Take Action. When she took action it was a massive action and the reward was fantastic for her.
She has also paved the way for other lonely people to open the door of their hearts and ask for help or support when they need it. We can sit and allow ourselves to be controlled by society's rules and models or we can see the need to go beyond our suffering and take action.
When we lived near Egersund, Norway, we felt a need to include others in our life at Christmas. So we decided to ask around to the Salvation Army and one of the more socially oriented churches if they knew of someone that might like to share the warmth of Yuletide in our home. We did not get any positive answers back and one person at the church explained to us that society's norms were such that folk would not admit to being lonely, better to suffer in silence and be strong than be humiliated by expressing the desire to share company of others.
We can only congratulate Reidun for taking the risk to be open and ask. People sometimes cannot find their own answers and need a little guidance and support to take risks and uncover their own solutions.
Life coaching can assist in this process of uncovering and reaching our goals and dreams.®