Are we there yet? Where is “there?” Do we know where our “there” is?
When we were little we heard people tell our parents, “What a little man!” “What a pretty girl.” Nice strangers asked us, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Perhaps on a subconscious level we start at an early age being reminded that we are going to be something or do something later in life.
The drive to become, accomplish and succeed, begins when we are young. Sometimes we were not allowed to truly be the children that we were meant to be at that age.
Many years ago the son of a friend of mine was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The wise five-year old answered, ” A bigger, older me!”
He was quite self aware for one so young.
After we start kindergarten we are striving for good grades so we can go to the next grade, then elementary school, then middle school, junior high, then senior high, then college or a career, and on to a marriage, and on and on and on.
We are so geared to think about the future that we sometimes forget about the present. Our goals are ever in front of us driving us onward to old age and death. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We are always striving and working toward a future “there.” What is our future “there?” Is our future “there” truly being created by our goals or our actions, reactions and interactions where we are now? Are we spending enough effort on our inner selves and our truest most important needs for our futures? How focused should we be on our futures as opposed to our present lives? They both are certainly important.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.”
Do we ever wonder if maybe the journey itself is more important than the goals of our lives? It’s not how powerful, rich, popular or intelligent we are? I watched the Game of Thrones series several years ago for the first time. Those who were in power were in power only so long. There was always someone else chomping on their heels to usurp their power from them. It just may be that the objects of most value are the ones that can not be taken away.
The Game of Thrones series was really a little look at life in any age of our world. There are and have always been: the “haves, the “have-nots” and the “wannabes.” There are the contenders at any price for the prize, title, kingdom, or power. Then there are the survivors; who work hard and get dumped on by the royals or wealthy.
Some of the survivors manage to make a decent life for themselves, away from the fighting, raiding, murdering hoards or varying groups of people. Then there are those who manage to stay clear of the human rat race and seek wisdom, beauty, and inner peace.
Do we ever feel that we are in one of these groups? Sometimes we just can’t avoid the conflicts, skirmishes, battles and wars that are whirling around us. Deep in our heart of hearts we just want to be good, honest people living out our lives to the best of our abilities. We don’t want power, wealth, and popularity. We just want to have enough to live a comfortable life, with our family and face the regular problems of everyday people.
Sometimes we lose sight of who we are and get sucked into the politics of the world; have our fears stirred up by the news or even social media using eye grabbing, fear fanning titles.
One such title I saw the other day was: “Ten Things You Should Be Afraid of!” Everyone has to read what they should know to be safe, right? Ever notice some of those articles have little tidbits of history about the topic or minor details that you read hungrily, to get through to the horrific “whatever you should be afraid of”?
Each little tidbit has a “next” arrow to lead you on to the next page and the next, building suspense. There are advertisements on every one of those pages. The writers are being paid by advertising companies for the multiple exposures their advertisements are getting.
It is good to pull back from these fear mongering vacuums and just focus on what is in front of us or better still what we are doing and who we are becoming. Are we our accomplishments? Are we our wealth or political party? Sometimes our aspirations include: “I have to have a nice car, house, or boat.” “I have to be the president of a company like my father to make him proud of me.”
Who are we really?
A very meaningful path to finding out who we are is spirituality. One unknown author defined spirituality as “the quest for the meaning of self within the broader reality of life.”
Who we are is what gives us true happiness. Our inner lives are as important if not more important than our outer lives. We can learn to be at peace with whom we have become, our mistakes, our pasts, our presents, and our futures through quiet thinking, meditation and openness to learning.
Sometimes we spend more time on worrying, planning or thinking about the past or the future and we forget to make our “present” a good, loving, healthy one.
So reach your destination, your “there” by taking time to truly get to know the real you. Listen to your heart, commit to your higher self. Because that’s where you really live and can find peace.
Centuries ago Lao Tzu said, “We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.”
Make your inner self a place of peace. It may take time, effort and dedication, but it’s worth it.