One of my mom’s cousins died unexpectedly a couple weeks ago.
A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer and is awaiting treatment to begin.
And my dad is now home recuperating after a few days in the hospital.
Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily lives – completing work projects, keeping up with our emails, grocery shopping, dealing with traffic – it takes a major event to wake us up, to remind us what life is REALLY all about.
I believe we all have unique purposes here, as we are “spiritual beings having a human experience,” as French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it. But whatever our different purposes, I truly believe we are supposed to be happy.
Sometimes “happy” seems difficult to achieve, particularly when life knocks you down. My mentor Martha Beck says, “This is not a world where it is possible to stay on track, it’s a world designed for us to lose the track and then wander around feeling morose until we find it again.” So we lose our footing. We realize we are so far away from happy that we’ve forgotten what happy feels like. But that realization is the first step back. You must have awareness before you can begin to make changes.
I think the major events that occur in life give us an opportunity to assess our lives. For me, as the fragility of life becomes more apparent in my awareness, I also become aware of what I value and what I am grateful for. With a stronger sense of what’s truly important, I can choose more deliberately how I spend my time and energies, what things I will focus on, and what things I will discard.