We all have plans for our lives. They start to form as dreams when we are very young. We dream of what we are going to be when we grow up. We imagine our jobs, our husbands or wives, what we will look like, where we will live, what we will wear. It’s all in Technicolor, like a fairy tail, beautiful and magical. Perfect.
Then we grow up. And for most of us our lives don’t quite turn out as we have imagined. Or if we do follow the plans we laid as children, or teenagers, or young adults to go to college, get married, have the perfect children, the perfect job, we might not be feeling as perfectly happy and fulfilled as we imagined we would feel. So what is missing?
First let me say to those of you who have fulfilled those childhood dreams and feel perfectly fulfilled and happy – congratulations! It’s certainly not impossible and it’s wonderful that you have gotten to this point in your life and are enjoying what you have worked hard to achieve! Now for those that aren’t there and those that don’t want to be. What’s the reason you haven’t quite gotten there and why not?
I believe as we mature our perceptions of what will make us happy will change, continuously. Day to day, moment to moment perhaps. Each of us will discover our personal truth as we travel the path of our life’s journey, the truth about what we want in life and what will be the key to our personal happiness and fulfillment. For some it’s going to be simple – the house, white picket fence, dog, kids. For others, far-away places and never staying anywhere enough to call anything your own, anything in between.. So how do we discover that truth? Of course it’s not a simple answer. There’s no prescription, no simple plan for it. Just do this, like that, every day, and you are there! It’s a personal journey for each of us. Sometimes it’s the simplest thing that can put us on the path, show us the way to our personal truth. Waking up in the morning and seeing the sun shining into the window just so can give you an understanding of the world, or your needs and desires, what you are looking for.
I think in the human quest for happiness we miss it sometimes. I think the problem is that our society teaches us that everything in our lives has to be just right, just so, and once we set it up that way, then we will be happy. So we work towards it, go to school, look for the “perfect” mate, have the “perfect” children. And think that once all the pieces of the puzzle just fall into place, then we will feel that magical, elusive happiness. But that’s too shaky of an ideal. Once there are too many pieces to the puzzle, it’s too easy for one of them to get lost and then things to fall apart. But because we were told that the whole picture will make us happy, we don’t know how to see the parts for what they are and then there is no happiness any longer.
Then there’s mindfulness. Looking at every moment with new eyes. Seeing what is beautiful and wonderful and lovely and amazing right now. And now. That cloud. The tree. The moment you share with your friend today. And your child. Amazing. There is happiness in each of these moments and accepting that you might not have build a white picket fence like you dreamed of as a kid but that’s ok. And you aren’t making six figures like you planned in college. Can you change it right at this moment? Probably not. But did you have moments today that you enjoyed? Most likely. Did they bring you happiness? Absolutely. And are you closer to your personal truth having accepted you are who you are and willing to look are your life moment by moment through a positive lens? Yes…