One of the great truths in this life is that all things change, whether we want them to or not. No matter how good or bad a given moment, day, week or year appears, it will eventually shift. However there are things we can do to maximize the positive and minimize the negative. One of these things is to increase our awareness. By recognizing this core nature of life, when we are feeling positively, we are less likely to take it for granted. And when we are feeling negatively, we can take comfort in knowing that if we make the right choices the darkness will eventually lift.
Time is not only a great healer, it is a great teacher – if we choose to learn from it. And it is always a relative quantity. We’ve all felt that a summer can pass in the blink of an eye, while a single day can sometimes feel like an eternity. No matter what we do with ourselves, the sun will rise and set and time will get behind us. The real question is what do we do with this gift that we are given? How do we spend this limited commodity of time? My experience has taught me that the more positive action I take, the more satisfying my existence can become. By practicing open-mindedness, compassion and the willingness to give – to myself and those around me – the happier I feel.
Whether we are conscious of them or not, all of us experience needs. The obvious ones are food, water and shelter. But there is also a need to feel connected and understood. Nobody wants to feel alone. Even those people whom I have met that work so hard throughout their lives to prove their independence – sometimes with the result of alienating themselves from relationships and the world – are terrified deep down of the prospect of ending up alone. And why wouldn’t they be? We are emotional creatures. Being connected to others, and woven into the fabric of a social life, brings most of us a sense of comfort and security. Of course, relationships are also hard work. They take varying degrees of patience, sacrifice and effort. All things of real value do. But this work can bring great rewards. Because ultimately, no matter how much joy or pain life brings to us, when there are others to share it with – those who we can laugh with and lean on – the joy becomes heightened and the pain muted.
There are basically two ways we as individuals, and as a society, can have our needs met. We can all put ourselves at the center and make sure we look out for “number one.” Or we can all look out for each other. Clearly, there is a blend of both scenarios. But I would strongly encourage effort towards the latter. Again, it doesn’t really matter how high an individual may climb if upon reaching the top they enjoy the view by themselves. It has been my experience that when you give more than you get, you really get more than you give. By helping others, in whatever ways we can, we are actually also providing for ourselves.
Today is just one day. It will have it’s ups and it’s downs, it’s challenges and rewards. But one thing is for sure – it is ours, to spend as we see fit. Here’s to making wise investments and to taking positive action. And remember, our feelings are perhaps our greatest asset. They are like maps guiding our impulses and behavior, and if we pay close enough attention, they can help us pursue that which will make us truly happy.
Be good to yourself, and have a wonderful day.