Each week, spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra responds to Oprah.com users' questions with enlightening advice to help them live their best lives.
Q: I have always wanted a close family—forgiving, loving and fun—yet it seems to be an impossible task. Unrealistic, the strong devour the meek, the cancer wins, the child dies, others are not interested until too late—is this an impossible dream? Are we to be just short of happiness like a candy on a stick, never reaching, never tasting the sweetness and fulfilling dream?
— Susan B., Longview, Washington
I don't think any answer I can give would make a difference. Instead of worrying about humanity in such an abstract fashion, face your personal sense of fatalism. That's what is keeping you from your vision of happiness. If you set aside your gloomy beliefs, what will you find? I think that question must make you nervous. But until you honestly look at your hidden pain, the way to happiness will never open itself to you.
On the positive side, one can tell you aren't focused on externals. You don't believe happiness is increased by having more money and possessions. You have taken a philosophical look at the situation, and I'd ask you to take an emotional look. Whenever you began to think with such pessimism, you were responding emotionally. Past disappointment has influenced you too much. Old hurts are asking to be felt. What you need to know is that you can return to these untended wounds and heal them. Toxic emotions can be released. Old memories can be made to lose their grip.
I hope these words offer you enough reassurance that you can begin to seek real happiness. The only way to build a loving, kind family is on the basis of your own positive qualities. Happiness attracts happiness. Love magnetizes more love. It's on this basis that you can build your future.