Joan Chittister wrote in her essay, After Great Pain: Finding a Way Out, "But the truth remains: Nothing lasts. No single thing can consume our entire life’s meaning. No single thing can give us total satisfaction. Nothing is worth everything: neither past, nor present nor future. It isn’t true that the loss of any single thing will destroy us. Everything in life has some value and life is full of valuable things, things worth living for, things worth doing, things worth becoming, things worth loving again. It is only a matter of being detached enough from one thing to be open to everything else.
The essence of life is not to find the one thing that satisfies us but to realize that nothing can ever completely satisfy us."
Last weekend was my birthday. Another year. Possibly wiser. Definitely older. But what is age? A calendar page turned, the accumulation of 365 days crossed off which mark a total year. One page follows another, the sands sink into the hour glass, the hands pass across the face of time marching on.
My age is nothing compared to my experience, my learning, my knowing. The essence of my life is not in finding one thing that makes me happy, it's in the realization that I am responsible for my happiness. I am responsible for what I do that brings me more of what satisfies me and less of what doesn't.
Will I ever be satisfied with my life? I hope not. To be satisfied means to be so attached to where I'm at, I never want to be somewhere else.
I was once so attached to a man I wanted to die. Was I satisfied? In many ways, yes. I was satisfied that that was all I deserved, all I could ever have. That pain and turmoil. In my satisfaction that he was all I deserved, I let go of believing in the truth even though the truth was, I was hurting myself and those who love me.
At one time, I believed the loss of his love would destroy me. I could not see, his 'love' was destroying me because I was focused entirely on my fear of losing that which was destroying me. I had become so attached to my self-destruction, I could not let it go.
In this new year of my birth, I embrace the future with an open heart. It may have been broken, but in its breaking open it became filled with the possibility of love's power to detach from needing to hold onto that which I believed I could not lose.
Nothing in life is worth holding onto so badly I want to die. No one is so important I cannot let them go. For when someone else takes precedence in my life over me, I let go of the one thing I can hold onto that can bring me the satisfaction of knowing I am forever changing, growing, evolving, moving beyond and moving into all that I am meant to be.
Will I ever be satisfied I've gotten to where I want to be in my life? I pray not. My goal is to be forever growing beyond where I'm at today.
The question is: How satisfied are you with where you're at? Are you so attached to this place you fear letting go? Are you so attached to what you know you cannot see there's more to learn, to do, to become, to evolve into?