November 13, 2014
My birthday is next Wednesday, and you already know I’ll be 29 again! Shoot fire, nothing like re purposing a great number over, and over, and...well, how many isn’t the issue. Besides, it’s a forever thing, sort of like the postage stamp. Dickens, rejoicing in the day you were born is celebrating being alive. Woo-hoo! I celebrate the entire month of November. Seriously, why limit a milestone birthday like “29” to just one day? Although, age truly is just a number and with each passing year I wonder if others, besides myself, really examine their life; more importantly who they have become in the world—not just what they’ve accumulated or their social status.
For instance, with each passing birthday what’s really important becomes clearer. In other words, you don’t turn twenty-nine as many times as I have without knowing exactly what you want out of life. I supposed one could call it attaining wisdom.
Speaking of wisdom everyone’s heard of asking the Dalai Lama about the meaning of life. But does anyone remember his response? Well, straight from Google to this column is a quote from Dalai Lama XIV on the purpose of life. “I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.”
Does this resonate with you? It does with me. Because most of us mistakenly assume the meaning of life means having lots of ‘stuff.’ Dalai Lama states we are not solely material creatures, therefore believing ‘things’ (or money) will make us happy is a fallacy. Everyone has stuff, some more than others, some more expensive than others. But would you be happy without all your stuff? Because that’s the true test of happiness and over the years, I’ve come to realize the most desired way to live life is to be happy...no matter what. It doesn’t mean as soon as I get this, or as soon as I do that. Truly being happy means right now, with the life I’m living daily. Happiness is about being grateful for what you have.
I also appreciated him expanding on the benefit of caring for the happiness of others being success in life. Imagine if we were all caring about the happiness of others how wonderful life on this planet would become.
Of course, like everyone, I desire a loving, caring, supportive relationship that contains the elements of respect, honesty, kindness and communication. I neither have the time, nor the desire, to be in a relationship (including friendship) lacking in any area important to me. And neither should you. I have loved someone who felt the grass was greener elsewhere and I truly hope they are happy. Love isn’t reason enough to remain in a relationship that doesn’t nurture values important to you.
Also, if I tell you I’ll do something, I’ll do it. If I can’t, I’ll tell you I can’t. Some of my friends question why I do things for people who have slighted me. I say, “Because I said I would.” Only I have to answer for the things I do because I can’t control another’s actions. I can only control how I respond...with integrity. Besides forgiveness is my armor; I’m the one who doesn’t lose sleep over being kind.
But most of all what I want out of life is to become a better person; better than I am today and better than I will be tomorrow. I want to be someone I am proud of, even though sometimes I fall short it doesn’t stop me from improving the next time. That’s one of the best things about being alive. Every second of every minute is an opportunity to make a choice to enhance our sense of well-being and strive for inner peace...the ultimate happy life.
Can you imagine...how much longer I’ll be 29?
Smile and get your happiness on!