Who Am I? Why Am I Here? And What Am I Doing? These are the perennial questions of our existence. It doesn't matter if we are fourteen years old or eighty-four years old, these three questions are appropriate for us to ask ourselves at any time in our lives.
While we are young children, we can still resonate with the infinite from whence we have just come. When we reach our elder years, similarly we can find ourselves at peace with the idea of returning to the mystery of our source. Reports of near death experiences give us glimpses into what that infinite source is like. Most tell us of a great calming peace and feelings that 'all is well,' with a sense of total freedom from fear. But, as we enter fully into this life and before we are ready to depart from it once more, we tend to forget that vast expansive aspect of who we all are.
During all of the many years between early childhood and advanced older age, our focus is largely spent on the day to day aspects of life: acquisition, protection, presentation and more. We seek to satisfy our wants and needs. We strive for the end points with little regard for what lies between. We get our meals and chase after our goals, speeding along the way, too often absentmindedly crushing the delicate flowers beneath our feet. We hurry on by, bumping into others without stopping to say, 'I'm sorry,' or even wondering why.
If we are lucky, from time to time, an existential crisis catches us and stops us in our tracks. I feel that this is like an emergency break for the soul. Something happens that gives us pause: a death, the loss of a job, an illness or the end of a relationship. Then, in come those three little questions again, helping us to take stock, re-evaluate, see who we are, and who we might want to become.
The deep soul searching that these pauses can bring us, if we are open to it, can let us see how we are being in the world. Are we being kind? Are we bringing as much love and compassion, forgiveness and understanding as we can muster? Do we express our gratitudes and appreciation for those around us? Have we stopped to admire the beauty that is present in every moment. Are we honoring our bodies, the temples of our soul?
When we take these little (or sometimes big) pauses in life, to see ourselves, another blessing occurs. We start to see those around us through these kinds of eyes as well. As we drop our focus on our day to day pursuits, we can see more of their essence. We see their earnestness, their sincerity, their big hearts and loving devotion.
I've come to believe that each and every one of us is doing the very best that we can in every moment. I feel that we are all making the most appropriate choice, for who we are, in any given time and place. I also feel that we are here to learn and grow.
Sometimes we grow faster in certain areas of life, and sometimes we grow slower in other areas. And, it's all okay. I may be better in science than I am in math. Whereas my best friend might be just the opposite. So I look to her for help in my weaker, or less developed parts of my self. And she looks to me for tips and guidance in the areas where she is not as strong. Together we help each other.
When we take the time to see ourselves, and everyone whom we encounter, in this way, we find ourselves in an increased state of openness. We might even enter into wonder and awe. This is where the magic lies. Here is where our transformation takes place. Our fears drop away. We find equanimity and a sense of understanding, and we embody some of that infinite source from whence we came and where we will all return.
So, for this New year, I'm going to propose to myself a little challenge. One that will invite that little pause into my every day. Can I, once a day, ask, who I am? Am I hurried or am I noticing? Maybe once an hour, can I bring a flicker of awareness to, why I am here? Am I learning and growing? Am I being grateful and kind? Maybe, if I am lucky, I can hold a tiny bit of awareness in every moment of, why I am doing what I am doing, whatever that may be. And maybe, just maybe, if I am lucky, I can remember that I am a part of the Divine expansive, interconnected and unified whole, holding myself, all the while, in gentle hands, as I would my own precious darling child.
Wish me luck with this, my New Year's Resolution. And I wish you luck with yours, whatever it might be, knowing that whatever it is, it is perfect, and the very best choice for you.
May we all be blessed with a wondrous and very Happy New Year.
All my love to you.