Friday, September 18, 2009

Living Dreams

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.

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Basabi, that is so powerful. It is exactly as I feel as well! You are a very gifted writer.

    Shar

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  2. For one thing it surprises me that you feel you have not lived as per your true aspirations! Yes true, one is forever seeking approval or in some cases rebelling against others' expectations, particularly in the early years. But at the same time one is exploring and seeking to figure out what one's true calling is. Only a few of us
    know early on in life what we truly want to do. Most of us choose to do that which comes easy and helps make a good living. And fair enough! It is only later in life, after you are financially secure and your children are on their own, that you think of the luxury of persuing what your heart desires. I feel that is the stage at which you Bubu seem to be reaching.

    Assuming that making a living was never an issue and there was total freedom to do whatever one wished, it would still take much seeking to find out what one really wants to make of one's life. I still have not found it. I have these vague urges do something concrete for the needy, but the conviction of my desire is not strong enough for me to rock the boat, just take off leaving behind responsibilities that I have willingly taken on.

    What do you say?



    Sometimes, when I find

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  3. Rekha,
    I too believed like you that as youngsters we are unsure of our calling - not anymore. I watch the children of today and am amazed at how clear they are about their 'big picture' goals. They probably do not know whether they want to be a doctor or a historian - but they definitely know their definition of happiness - what is negotiable and what is not for their own peace of mind.

    I feel it is not about desiring to achieve anything - it is more about doing what brings you joy - the end result may not be worth anything in the world of economics or to society as we know it. I write because I love to - whether or not anyone thinks it is good does not matter. I enjoy writing each word - I relish each thought as it goes through my mind and comes out on the screen. The rest is immaterial!

    Thanks for reading my work with so much care. Pls continue to comment. I enjoy these conversations.

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  4. Hello my dearest Basabi

    My heavens I can relate to your words. The need to please, the difference between how women and mothers live their lives vs how men and boys and husbands live their lives is as different as night and day.

    The one thing that I related to most was how you recognize that you are not into superficial surface small talk. Neither am I. It bores the bejesus out of me. I too am looking to have deep conversations about spirit. Not GOD because GOD and I are having a few problems at this moment. I know two things to be truth. I KNOW that there is something at play in this universe that is much more than ME. Some all knowing entity that is working just as it should even if it does not always fit into my daily schedule. The other truth I KNOW is that NO ONE has an easy go of it. We all have our difficulties, etc. No one gets a free ride and knowing that makes me more empathetic to everyone on the planet.

    I love your writing and the way you express your life so breifly but so accurately too.

    Keep it coming my dear

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