Posted: 18-Nov-2013 Category: Inspiration, Psychology
I once again write my yearly letter to myself.
This is always a hard time of the year for me. I reflect throughout the year, but when it comes to this week, I always seem to be facing a specific heightened emotion. This year, it has revealed itself as a sense of emptiness in this world of abundance. Maybe a sense of missing my family and close childhood friends. There is something heartfelt about knowing that there are a few people in this world that know you for who you really are as a person.
Here I sit, once again, journalling on the week of my birthday. Looking for insight from the year past, and foresight for the year to come. I have always tried to live for the moment. Truly enjoy the person in front of me, even if they are a passing stranger in the midst of a moment. To enjoy my own company, truly hug someone, to open my heart enough to feel peoples pain and joy they are living. To leave all judgement aside and just genuinely accept the experiences that flow my way.
As human beings, we are rarely satisfied. We are always looking for the next best thing. We want that promotion at work. We want to buy a bigger house or a faster car. I have always struggled trying to balance the striving for achievement, the wanting new and different vs. loving what we are so blessed to have.
Achievement is a balance between having the courage to explore live, in psychology what we call a state of moratorium. And as we explore what we want, what we do not want, who we want to be and what we want to do in life - as we go through this state of moratorium, we also have to have the courage to commit to our chosen path.
This is my battle that repeatedly revels itself at this time of the year. This year, it seems to feel a little different. This year, I seem to be standing on the battle field staring at my opponent that utilizes a weapon of loss. So I have been asking my self, why do I battle such a great sense of loss - what am I battling in front of me at this moment?
This desire to improve can be good. After all, our desire to push our boundaries has brought about numerous advancements in technology, science and medicine. However, in our endless pursuit for betterment, sometimes we forget that some things are best just the way they are. I ask myself, with my pursuit of trying to make this world a better place, my pursuit to make myself a better person, have I become the thing I battle the most? Striving for more at the price of the beauty that we have right in front of us.
Just think about the classics. Mozart and Beethoven wrote their music centuries around, but their symphonies are still pretty hard to top. It’s been years since Shakespeare lit up the British stage with his plays, and his work is still lauded for its innovation and creativity. Some things withstand the test of time.
So this is the question I ask myself - What is it in my life I need to believe does not need changing?
It is critical to strive for better, but not at the price of losing who we are in the process.
I see too many people striving for better, not for who they want to be as people, but for what they are trying to prove to the world and the strangers around them. Now I say 'strangers' because that is who they are compared to the 'real' people in our lives. Part of my sadness comes from watching people take the ones in their lives, who love them with all their heart, and place them to the side in order to prove their worth to others. I know part of my sadness is me experiencing that exact element this year.
My sadness reveals itself to me - I have spent many years trying to make this world a better place, but have I really followed those lessons in my life - with those so close and dear to me? Have I been courageous enough to put my true heart out in the battle field?
I know without a shadow of a doubt, that this world is full of love. I know it because I experience it everyday from people in my life and those just crossing my path. Every individual has within them and craves to live and experience this love - even if at times we have no idea how to find the courage to do so. I have come to realize that part of my sadness is the realization that I have ignored so much love that exists in my life. From strangers to friends to family.
If we always spend all our time looking for the next best thing, we may forget to value what is right in front of us.
There is nothing wrong with trying to better your life. Just don’t sacrifice the things that matter most to you in the name of advancement.