I’m sitting at my desk, trying to think of something witty to impart, Dylan is using my calculator as a pillow and, at 10:00 PM, the air conditioner is still running. It’s summertime in Southern Cal and all is right with my world!
Although stepping outside of the comfort zone is what makes life interesting, knowing that certain things can be counted on to remain virtually the same, or behave in expected manners is what gives me the courage to go off on adventures. Those comforting, predictable, unconditional loving actions are that safe place to come back to in between adventures. They remind me that, no matter where I go, home is always here waiting.
Whether I’m gone an hour, a day, a week or longer, my home will be here to enfold me within its walls, my cats waiting to snuggle and be spoiled (or in Loki’s case, to be poked, prodded and medicated!) and it also serves as a launching pad as I give something new and different a try.
For the excitement of every adventure, there is the comfort of coming home. But for every comfortable homecoming, there is an adventure yet to be had.
Life is about balance. The obvious good with the bad, happy with sad. But the less obvious excitement and comfort, success and failure, joy and devastation which are all part of our learning process.
Would we really understand hot if we didn’t also experience cold? Would we appreciate the comforts of home if we didn’t experience the uncertainty and thrill of being out in the world without any guarantees of our happiness? Would we ever really reach the incredible high of utter joy if, at least once in our lives, we hadn’t experienced devastating sadness? And even if we reached the blissful extremes, would we truly recognize and appreciate them if we had nothing to offset them against?
How many of the inventions we now take for granted would have even come to pass if someone hadn’t tried repeatedly and failed before finding the solution they sought? And how often did that first success lead to improvements, both by the original inventor, but also by those who sought to compete with them to do the job even better?
Sure, we set intentions and goals for ourselves to push us forward, but those intentions and goals are going to take us outside of that comforting, safe, known place. They’re going to challenge us to try and fail, to pick ourselves up, assess what went wrong and continue making changes until we succeed. But that isn’t enough for us! Succeeding only means that we’ve managed to make something work, not make it work the best possible way. So off we go again, changing those goals, altering those intentions, modifying our first efforts until we think we’ve succeeded again…only to discover that now that we’ve gotten there, we can see something better up ahead!
That constant striving to be bigger, better, faster, stronger is what keeps those brain cells regenerating, that excitement building and life, as we know it, holding the spark that keeps us living rather than just existing.
For some, those inventions take on a material form, or improve the lives of millions, or cure a disease. For others, it is simply to entertain or inform. What each of us needs to do is as unique as we are, and without that, what I know as “purpose”, we are but an empty shell.
So many have been raised to believe that that purpose is comprised of the job they do, the family they provide for and the community they serve. Thus, when they lose their job and the family falls apart and it’s all they can do to take care of themselves, much less, serve a community, they believe they’ve lost their purpose, and, too often, give up. We’ve all seen those individuals with their cardboard signs, standing outside of shopping centers or on freeway ramps, tossing away the last of their pride in hopes of just a little something to stave off starvation.
How far do we go to avoid that fate? How much of our true selves to we sacrifice rather than being either a burden on our families or society? (and make no mistake, people who are homeless because of circumstances take their toll on our society!)
The truth is, more of us make a living than make a life because that is what we’ve been taught to do.
We are brought up to believe that we need to go to college so we can get a good job so we can make a good life for ourselves and our families. We buy houses and nice cars and the latest electronics, because that is what we know.
Trust me, I don’t hate what I’ve done so that I have a computer to type my blog on every night, or an air conditioned house to come home to when the temperature is in the 100’s. I’m just trying to find a way to balance what I do to satisfy my physical needs with what I need to do to satisfy my spiritual/emotional needs. As for community, both of my needs will contribute to that community, in their own way.
So take time to think about what you do because you need to versus what you want to do because your spirit needs you to.
It should all be very simple….but it rarely is.
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have a mind which ponders and considers.
2. I am grateful for resources which answer most question I’m able to pose.
3. I am grateful for goals which lead to successes which lead to new goals which lead to….(and the bear went over the mountain!)
4. I am grateful for the comforts of home which allow me to take myself on adventures now and then.
5. I am grateful for adventures, both large and small, physical, mental and emotional. They all help me grow and develop into the things I need to be.
Love and light.