Your heart pumps as if it’s on a high dose of caffeine, your mind flips its channels from one problem to another that you can’t resolve in life, the hurt, anger, and regrets send you constant reminders on your computer and emails. The list of disappointment increases as you are reminded again and again when you look at your engineer, doctor, and accountant friends that you too could have had a lucrative career. You always had to be different; you had to study subjects like theology and naively believed that you go to school because you love to read and write. You feel overwhelmed and unable to find peace. The choices we make in life, with known or unknown consequences, are always on our record. We have the past always influencing our present. The good choices make our souls soar with joy and the not so good ones pick on our conscience. We’re always searching to make peace with those.
I, too, search for peace with each day passing. Sometimes I write, but I haven’t written a self-involved essay in a while, thus an increase in the desire to seek peace has driven me here. I have been hiding for so long and today a friend sent me a quote, “Everyday is new life to a wise man.” It is similar to another quote I had heard that said a day is for you and a day is against you. It emphasized that each day is a new beginning, a new blank page, a new word document with its own history yet to be written. So, in search for peace I started to write today.
The following are the epiphanies I consider worth sharing. I want to preserve them in writing as I will again in a few days search for them. I understand and accept that I am a forgetful creature and will need reminding tomorrow, as long as I follow these today. I also want to share them so if our paths cross you can remind me of what I wrote and how hypocritical it is not follow one’s own advice. (Nicely, I hope.)
1. Stop the complaining: Once a friend advised to go a day without ever complaining. My friends get the most share of my complaining mostly because I love them and feel completely safe sharing. I noticed however, that on the days that I complain the days are harder to pass by as nothing, but the complaint consumes my day and my energy. Slowly, it takes away any chance of a happy moment from occurring that day.
2. Nip the evil in the bud: I’ve realized if an issue is worth standing up for then one should stand up for it or let it go. As the middle way is the one that is the most disastrous to one’s health, where one keeps ruminating on the issue with no end in sight. It is painful to get stuck in such limbo and feel trapped by thoughts always hovering over your mind. Nothing should be so heavy as to diminish the lightness of our being.
3. Side burner issues: Life will always have what will be side burner issues; they could be big ones like how to care for our parents, financial decisions, retirement, etc., but these aren’t the issues you can deal with right here and now. Often, if we don’t put these issues on the side burner we can start feeling overwhelmed and drained due to the inability to resolve them immediately. The best way, though the hardest, is to work, eat, pray, and put these issues on the side burner and distract oneself with the immediate issues.
4. Get out: Literally nothing is healthier than going for a walk down the block, going to a function, etc. Despite our knowledge of health and exercise we are stuck in sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets and energy sucking friends etc. We really do know better. If we want health you have to work for it.
5. You are responsible for yourself, your own attitude, and what you do. This is a hard one as we all have expectations of others and also of ourselves. We could try to tell people what we want from them, or what they should be like for us but that’s not really being sincere to yourself. We can only do what we have within our own control, our own attitude, our own thoughts. So if someone is yelling in your face, you cannot change them you can only alter your own response to that. Only we have the ability to change ourselves and through that our environment.
6. Be grateful: When the times are hard, the easiest way out is to forget the good around us and within ourselves. When we simplify things down to each day and then to each moment, we free ourselves to live in the goodness of it and as a result appreciate the air that enters our nostrils, the flowers that grow in our gardens, the warmth of the cup of tea in our hands, and the beauty and the miracle of life which our own existence proves.
I part with these reminders, before they become too cliché like, “live in the moment,” “love thyself,” etc. (you will notice my six points are completely self inspired, uninfluenced by any clichés, or reiterated wise quotes we hear every day, but never follow). On this note, I wish you all and myself peace, good health, and the wisdom to apply such wisdom in our lives.