I have lived a blessed life. One that is full of experiences that, like with anyone else, have been instrumental in building different aspects of my personality. Starting with meeting death in the family very early on to meeting dignitaries; living in India, Kenya, Canada and the US; working in various capacities; making and breaking relationships through the years there have been many dreams broken and many more fulfilled.
I often wonder though if the dreams were mine or those of others. The answer is not very flattering. I have mostly lived thinking my life was about making 'others happy.' Being approved of, being liked, being thought well of was what drove this concept forward. In retrospect it was a lot more about the approval of others than about making them happy. It was important that I get this collective approval. A very elusive commodity and one that frustrated me as with each disapproval a part of me wilted. The disharmonious journey has made it impossible to reach my inner peace.
As I watch my sons I can see the advantages of living a life fulfilling ones own dreams. While I was always second guessing decisions I made, my sons are so much more confident about theirs. It is impossible to please everyone and I fought inner battles wondering how I was going to keep my balance. Had I been astute enough to know that if my conscience, my values and my beliefs were satisfied my decisions were perfect, life would have been less stressful and more enjoyable. Guilt born out of the knowing that some of my decisions were against my principles but were made since they were expected of me has eroded into my own self confidence and esteem.
Fortunately I am a willing learner and am in the process of practicing living in a way that makes me happy first. The rest can wait. I trust my values and my judgment and am living in a way that brings me joy and peace. Decisions I make are attuned to my values and principles and independent of the influences of others. I am free of the burden of caring about the opinions of people who really do not matter. Striving to be perfect in the eyes of others is a waste of precious time and energy that must be used to strive to tap into the perfect being I already am.
Like money and other materialistic things people and relationships come and go. When I look back over the last four decades of my life and take an inventory of possessions and people it is clear that I had very little control on my relationship with either of them. When they came or I brought them into my life or when they left or I pushed them out made very little difference in the long run. When my father was with us I remember being afraid of him dying - the first thought that crossed my mind on his passing was one of relief that I was released from the worry of having to live in his absence. It was much later that it dawned on me that my life might have been different had he lived a few more years but I really did not know what would have been different and so it did not matter. The memories of my indescribably beautiful relationship with him will always be with me and so it was the impact that the relationship had on me that was a lot more important than the length of it. This is true with any relationship be it with possessions or people. Sometimes letting go of relationships is necessary to truly appreciate them - to stop the inevitability of taking them for granted or being taken for granted.
The next decades of my life will be lived developing a relationship with the only constant I can have and that is my spirit. I will follow a path that brings inner joy by doing things that I love doing even if I may not be very good at all of them - being creative whether it be writing, painting, embroidering; going inward through reading, serving those less fortunate be they family or strangers, meditating, listening to music; relaxing by watching movies, spending fun times with family especially with the love of my life, and sleeping. I will also choose my relationships more carefully and let go of those that have a negative influence on me. Social politicking is not my forte, neither is talking about insignificant things and events. I revel in talking about ideas and philosophies that take me into the realm of Truth.
My dream life is one that I have only started on in this my fifth decade. This is my life to be lived according to my dreams, my values, my philosophies - I am a happy soul and whatever I choose to do will come from that happy place - it will be all about the journey rather than about where I plan to be. When I get to where I get to the adventure will have been worth it because how I am getting there is full of joy and in perfect harmony with Me.