I can recall years ago with my innocence intact and ignorant of the realities of this world, I had aspirations of becoming a teacher, getting married and having a mansion to live in with a nice, fancy vehicle and lots of money. At that time I felt these were the things that would have made me complete and happy. Little did I know that these are the things that sometimes leave us empty and do not always guarantee happiness.
Today, over two decades later, I am facing the realities of this life and have learnt that material things are really trivial and the least important. Of course, it would be nice to live in a 4 bedroom house with all the luxuries but if you don’t have a purpose and if you are not content with who you are then all that would have no meaning.
During lunch today I was engaged in a conversation with a few people and realised that I was not alone in my thoughts on soul searching. Many times we get caught up in the ‘traditions’ of this world – we are educated, married, have children, build our assets and then we die – but is that all there is to this life? I’m thinking since 1999, when I went through my first separation that there has to be more to life than just living each day on automatic pilot. Then it dawned on me that after my separation I was on a soul searching mission and was not fully aware of the wealth of happiness one can gain once they come to full terms about who they are and where they are going.
I chose to write on this topic this week because during my conversation it occurred to me that once you have not gained knowledge on who you really are you can never be fully content and this can lead to marital issues, parenting deficiencies among other common problems being faced in homes today. I once had a friend; he spent years with his wife surviving on automatic pilot. He worked hard, paid the bills, took very good care of his wife and children in terms of their material needs but as he talked to me he realised that his heart was heavy – he took no enjoyment in doing these things and was becoming rather tired and frustrated. He eventually met another woman much younger than he was and began having what he called ‘fun’ but guess what? The novelty of that died and he found himself in the same rut, only this time he was alone and had no family to go home to or take comfort in.
A few articles back I wrote on our purpose on this earth, each of our purpose may differ and therefore there will be different lessons that we will undergo. What these lessons will do is hone our skills in meeting our purpose. But in order to do all this you have to open up your minds and hearts in finding out what that purpose is and then make extra efforts in adjusting ourselves and our lives in meeting that purpose. It would be ideal if such a task is undertaken prior to marriage or any committed relationship as it would prove difficult while having a family to take care of and please. Secondly, when you find out your purpose, you will then know exactly what kind of partner you are looking for to spend your life with.
There are no concrete steps in meeting your true self or uncovering your purpose as it is a personal issue for each of us. But I can tell you that we are each capable of empowering ourselves by becoming more conscious of our everyday surroundings. Take in the smell of the air just before the rain starts, appreciate the laughter of children, be grateful for your home no matter how humble, be thankful for everyday mercies we take for granted such as food, hot and cold shower, air conditioning, fans, clothes, electricity. Be cognizant of the fact that there are starving, homeless and handicapped people that are sharing this planet with us. Make a conscious effort to not become angry over situations. When you find yourself doing that, ask yourself if your anger or temper can change the circumstances or if it will make a difference. Believe that everything happens to you for a reason – you may be running late but perhaps your tardiness made you avoid a road collision or made you on time to meet someone that will bring an anticipated change to your life.
By doing these things you are opening up yourselves to new experiences and you are ridding yourself of baggage such as anger, selfishness, among others and by doing this you are more susceptible to tapping into your inner voice and being able to hear exactly what it’s telling you and where it’s leading you to go. Finally, while I am not one to push my personal spiritual beliefs on anyone – believe in your supreme being, talk to him/her every day and be confident that you are exactly where you are meant to be every second, minute and hour. I believe in God and I believe that he is looking out for me each day – who and what do you believe in?
Finding your true self is a journey! There will be bumps on the way but it is one that will open your eyes to many truths and will make you a better person who will be able to smile at the simplest things and be overwhelmed at the tiny mercies. If you don’t believe me, try it – what do you have to lose?