— Julie H., Ballwin, Missouri
I deeply sympathize with your plight, which is shared today by millions of older workers. Finding your dharma doesn't have to be confined to finding a satisfying line of work. While the word "dharma" tends to be used that way in Indian society, where by tradition the family dharma passed the same kind of work from father to son, in modern America we are accustomed to the very opposite. Desiring freedom of movement and the right to change jobs frequently, conditions have led to job insecurity—it's the price we pay for high levels of creativity, entrepreneurship, social mobility and the absence of a safety net.
Realize, first of all, that being out of a job is due to these social factors. Plenty of workers who loved their jobs and felt they had found their dharma have also been laid off. There is no personal spiritual significance to this, even though it says a great deal about collective consciousness at this moment. What you need to do in such a crisis is avoid blaming yourself or feeling victimized. Dharma is found inside, but when external events are distressing, it's hard to go inward without confronting feelings of anxiety and hopelessness.
Therefore, I'd advise you to focus on inner healing, not on finding your dharma. That can wait until you are feeling better. Stressful as it is to be unemployed, you still have the means to be centered and secure inside. Seek out help in this regard. Even without funds, there are public outreach programs, religious organizations and friends who can help you to find comfort. Look hard enough and you will find someone who can guide you on the path to self-confidence. Once you feel you are safe emotionally, which takes focus and patience, then looking for your life's fulfillment is the next challenge.
Next question: How do I understand the significance of my dreams?
Every week, Deepak will be answering questions from readers just like you—ask your question now!
Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
Find direction in your life
How to keep your energy positive during tough times
How to improve a difficult work situation