The ego says, “Once everything falls into place, I’ll feel peace.” The spirit says, “Find your peace, and then everything will fall into place.” Marianne Williamson.
Now by far the toughest part of all of this is going to be taming or tempering ego. Ego is a fierce foe who won’t go down without a battle. It is a very ingrained part of ourselves. It is also tough because the main aspect of the path to ourselves is to study ourselves and to learn to accept and love ourselves and ultimately to be ourselves. One small wrong turn along the way and ego will assert itself. This will be a constant challenge for me, but one worth taking. One thing we can all use is a strong sense of self. If we have that we can learn to love and accept others in a selfless way. It takes a great deal of time, effort and wisdom to develop a strong sense of self. You have to search for yourself, recognize yourself, accept yourself and learn to love yourself. That is a never ending journey but if we can at least put our efforts there then our world becomes a much better place. Is it easy? Not at all, and it will constantly be a challenge, but a very worthwhile one.
A large part of the challenge is our society discourages a strong sense of self. We are encouraged to satisfy ourselves with the world outside of ourselves. We focus on money, possessions, success, status and so on. We worry too much about how others see us and we want instant gratification. To develop a strong sense of self takes a lot of introspection, which engenders a great deal of time and effort. Inevitably we change, our world changes, our experiences change, and our relationships change. Without a strong sense of self we tend to project or attach our values, ideals and expectations onto others, without recognizing or accepting theirs. This is the key to sharing.
“If you lose yourself in the struggle for your goal, you achieve nothing; you continue to suffer in your difficulties. If you just be you then whatever you do, even though it is not perfect, will be based on your inmost nature, and little by little something will be achieved”
“To find the meaning of our effort is to find the original source of our effort. We should not be concerned about the result of our effort before we know its origin. If the origin is not clear and pure, our effort will not be pure, and its result will not satisfy us. When we resume our original nature and incessantly make our effort from this base, we will appreciate our effort moment after moment, day after day, year after year. Those who are attached to only the result of their effort will not have any chance to appreciate it, because the result will never come. But if moment by moment your effort arises from its pure origin, all you do will be good, and you will be satisfied with whatever you do.”
One piece of advice we often hear is that we should not take what others do personally. Pretty good advice, but one we find hard to implement. We must recognize that others have their own motivations, dreams, priorities and needs and they are merely acting on behalf of those. Just as we are. They are no different than we are in that regard. Therefore it is important to try not to attach your own meaning to the action of others. It doesn’t mean that you have to like what someone does, it just means you accept it and then decide how to react to it, at least in my estimation. That is something which I have control over.
We often think if we just did or said one thing differently there may have been a different outcome. The fact is that is likely untrue in most cases. If something relies on doing or saying only one thing then it is a pretty weak connection at best and probably not worth all of that time and effort. If something is meant to be it will be. That is another hard concept to embrace. I believe that is the case when it comes to people at least. If something is important enough to both persons and they are willing to invest in it they will always find a solution. If there is no solution perhaps that is just what is meant to be. After all real life isn’t a story where everything has a happy ending. We all change and sometimes people don’t change with us, or they change and we can’t with them. That doesn’t diminish what you once had, it just changes what you now have. The past shouldn’t change based on the present. The past is what it was.
In the end be yourself, but be the best self you can be. Keep searching and improving on that self one little step at a time. Don’t fret if you can’t always go forward or even if you slip back from time to time. It happens to all of us. You just reset and go forward again. If you can do that you will attract those that want to be in your life, because those who see you for who you are, and not who they want or expect you to be, and can accept you for who you are are the people who will remain in your life for a very long time. The thing about all great relationships in our lives is all about inviting someone into your world and sharing it with them. Your heart is always your own, for if it weren’t you would never survive the loss of another. Many people have survived great losses in their lives exactly because of their strong sense of self.