I pondered on this question. Repeatedly, through the different stages of my life. If I ask my 10-year old self, my 20-year old self, or my 30-year old self, the answer would be different each time. So, I asked myself again at 40.
To live happily is to be able to accept life as it is. It is what came bursting out of me. It is to acknowledge oneself as one is, others as they are, and the world as it is. It is the first step. From there- from that place of peace and neutrality, navigate life towards betterment.
Understanding life AS-IS is not accepting defeat but knowing that life is with you, for you, and not against you. That life, in all its chaos and uncertainty, is supporting you to reach your highest good. That there are no actual enemies, except the nemesis that we nurture within.
These pains, and hardships, are experiences that beg questions too difficult to confront:
Who are you?
What is your purpose?
What is important to you?
What is essential in life?
What makes you feel alive?
What sparks joy and drive within you?
What do you long for?
What do you crave for?
What lights you up?
What makes you full and wanting and vibrating?
And, if you are not happy right now, what can you do to shift the direction of your life?
Oh goodness, these questions, no matter how old I get, I am not immune to them. They are my check-in thoughts when I lose direction. No matter how hard it gets to face myself, my imperfect self, my monster within, one thing is for sure: when I go deep, the answers that emerge, no matter how hard to swallow, allows me to experience life more deeply- with more gratitude, more courage, more love. It can get scary, like going through your dark basement. You are afraid spiders or snakes might bite you. But if you turn on the lights and go through all the junk, you will find what you are searching for, love. Deep love, unlike anything the outside world can give. I cannot imagine going through life without it. Love as deep as the ocean.
Do you also go through these reflections sometimes? What questions have you confronted in your life? How’s your deep journey been?