To what extent are the values, goals, and beliefs that shape your life your own? So often, the real answer is ‘not very much.’ Usually, we go on thinking we want this or that – more money, that new car, a bigger TV, the beautiful house, the big job or title. But relatively few people stop to ask themselves whether this is really what they want, or whether they are simply taking on other people’s beliefs and values. All too often it’s only once we get these things, after years of work, that we discover that we are no happier for it, and we may actually be a lot more in debt, less healthy, and have missed out on spending valuable time with the people who are most special to us. This is especially challenging in a consumption driven society because we are always being encouraged to be dissatisfied with what we have unless it’s the biggest, the most expensive, the brightest. And of course, before you’ve even figured out how your new gadget works, a new even faster and more powerful, more special version is released.
So let me share something with you. Odds are your real goals, what you really want in your life has nothing to do with the latest this or that. What most of us want is much, much simpler. We want to be loved and to love, and we want to experience more of this in our relationships, in our work, and in every part of our life. Most of all, we really just want to love ourselves – not in a ‘gee-wizz I’m the greatest’ way, but in a way that allows us simply to accept and enjoy who we are right now – without judgement, and free from conditions.
Let me share one more thing with you. You are, right now, at this very moment, perfect.
Realizing your perfection is about recognising that at any moment we can only be what we are. What is also true is that we are, like all things, constantly changing, whether we are aware of it or not. As conscious beings, we have the blessing to play a part in this change, through the cultivation of awareness and mindful action. So perfection is not about attaching your sense of identity to a particular order of things. A young tree is no less perfect when it is in its early stage of development than when it is mature. Is a star any less perfect when it reaches the end of its life. No, it is simply changing state. Each state of existence is perfect in its own right.
I’m not saying not to buy things, not to go for bigger jobs, or not to build that dream house you’ve been planning for the last decade. But I am asking you not to hold your happiness and love of your self and others ransom to the externalities of existence. When we do, we are bound to suffer. The new will become old. All things that are born and created ultimately decay and die. Learn to accept, and to love and honour the moment, free of judgement, free of ‘should.’ For centuries, even millennia, this has been achieved through meditation of different kinds. While it can be used to escape the world, meditation is powerful because it cultivates your ability to be present in the moment, not just in a quiet room, but amidst the flux and chaos of life.