It begins early in life. “Not right now. When you get bigger, you can do that.”
It continues throughout our growing years, and into adulthood. “Now isn’t the right time. Once this or that happens, then you can do that.”
We spend a lot of time waiting for the right time. The right conditions. The right environment. The right situation or people or terms. We wait, and sooner or later, light breaks and it dawns on us that we’re still sitting at the starting gate waiting.
Along the way, we spend a lot of time frustrated, disillusioned, and all too often, we back-burner dreams and desires. Sometimes ones that are intended to be our life’s work, or our purpose.
We’re so busy chasing our futures, we miss what is there for us now, our present. All the promise and fulfillment and contentment that is ours for the taking daily gets shuffled aside. Its value and worth are lost under the absence of focus and attention. We lose it–and all the good that can come from it.
Collectively, as human beings, we have some nasty habits. One of them is to focus on what’s wrong, what we don’t have–our problems. We give such intense focus to lack and problems that the promise, what is right in our lives and we do have totally escapes us.
Ask five people “What is your gift?” Most can’t answer. Or they fear answering because they’re afraid that the person they’re telling will disagree, insist that there is no gift in that. The truth is we all have gifts. It’s up to us whether or not we recognize and use them. We should ask ourselves, “What is my gift? What are my gifts?” We should also go that essential step further and ask ourselves, “Am I using them?”
You can be the most gifted and talented person in the world, but if you aren’t using those gifts, then you haven’t really claimed them. They’re stuck waiting at the Lost and Found.”
Ask five people “What are you most grateful for in your life?” Most will give a canned response, answer by rote. The problem is that they say what they think you want to hear, not what is in their hearts. Gratitude is a key ingredient to contentment. We should know those things we most appreciate, are most grateful for in our lives. We should ask ourselves–and answer–”What am I most grateful for in my life?” And we should go a critical step further and ask, “Why?”
Knowing is wonderful, but everything requires nurturing. Gratitude without works are like thirsty plants. Simply put, we need to water our plants. Without water, plants wither and die. Nurtured plants grow.
Ask five people “What is your life purpose?” And most will say, “If I knew the answer to that I’d be doing it.” Often the confusion and labors of daily life keep our focus on labor and daily life. We can be content in that, but we can’t live to our fullest–the lives we were intended to live. That requires we do our part, and that part includes looking deeper, seeking our truest selves and intent.
Even those absorbed in daily life and labor harbor have dreams and desires hidden in their hearts. Life might try to snuff it out–distraction, destruction, denial–often manifesting in the form of those who love us and have our best interests at heart. But those dreams and desires are known to us, and in them are our keys to purpose.
One key is in discovering that if it’s all about you, you’re not there yet. Keep digging. Our collective mission is to love one another. To recognize that we are part of a huge one that embraces all. That tells us that we can’t find contentment in being self-serving, totally focused on us.
If you’re having a bad day (or decade), reach out and do something for someone else. If you’re having a good day, reach out and do something for someone else. In doing for others, you lift them, and in doing so, lift yourself.
Too few of us realize that gem. But it’s a promise. What you do does return to you. So if you feel a lack of compassion, express it, shower someone else with it. Plant seeds of compassion liberally and sincerely.
And whatever your circumstance or situation, see the good in your present. Even in the most difficult challenges there are things of value. Insights, understanding, wisdom. And recognizing that makes it clear that what is truly in our best interests is to embrace the knowledge offered by it. That knowledge? This is our moment.
This one, right now. This moment might be fraught with challenge but it also holds promise for today as well as for the future. Our dreams and desires are keys to our purpose. We all know that which ignites a fire in our hearts, a desire we really want to fulfill. That at which we do not want to fail. Not because of others’ reaction to our failure but because we grasp at soul-level the significance of the act–the purpose. Our purpose.
Often we get confused at this point. We identify that purpose, and we fail to realize that there are many other purposes along the way. Every thing connects to every other thing.
Today, the promise well might be found in a problem. We deal with it, gain some wisdom that couples with some other wisdom and before we know it, we have the key to the door that we thought just couldn’t be opened. We find the key to our contentment, to our purpose. We know the real answers to those questions on our gifts, gratitude and purpose.
If we don’t see the promise in our daily lives, then the puzzle in our life is missing a piece. Miss the promises day after day, and our life becomes a puzzle with lots of missing pieces.
We’re intended to have a completed puzzle. One with all the pieces in place. To do that, we have to not focus on problems, but on solving them. We have to see the value and promise in problems. We have to recognize that not everything comes tomorrow or the day after or the year after that. We have to understand that…
This is our moment.