“What we don’t know supports what we do know.” — Bill Moyers
One way we show respect for ourselves and others is by respecting whatever life brings us. What prevented that in the past was our preoccupation with everything that prevented us from having our own way. Now, we live lives on a different rhythm: one of letting go. It is that rhythm to which we must pay attention.
At times letting go feels like doing nothing, and doing nothing feels like standing still. But letting go is not the same as standing still. It is active, not passive. Letting go focuses our attention on life in the present, living it fully, moment by moment, and not in a fantasy future that seems to promise the outcome we crave.
It has been said that the light of God’s love is so bright that it seems as darkness to us. When we feel we’re living in darkness, we may be living in the all-encompassing light of God’s love.and compassion for our struggle. We can trust the daily evidence of that love and know we are safe.
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” — Colette
Colette was a French author whose books give a sense of a life fully lived. Yet, even she regretted that she hadn’t appreciated her good fortune earlier on. It was only while writing that she learned to see how lucky and happy she was and to praise life.
I know that I have been tardy in realizing how rich my life has been. It is often only in retrospect that I can see the beauty and feel the joy. How beautiful that day was! How much I was loved! How lucky I was to have such good friends around me! What a beautiful child!
Why didn’t I see what was happening right before my own eyes? Why couldn’t I seize the moment? It’s good to remember, but it is amazing to live in the present and to cherish each moment while it is happening.
“Envy is more implacable than hatred.” – de La Rochefoucauld
Many of us, at times, have felt envious of other people. We envy those who have what we want: more money, more self-confidence, a happy relationship, a more interesting life. We may have defined our desires according to maligned values which told us we needed more, always more.
If we look beneath our envy, what will we find? Sadness? Anger? Feelings of deprivation? These are real emotions, reflecting perhaps childhoods and present lives spent struggling with loss. No wonder we lapse into envy; it’s painful to face the magnitude of the losses we’ve endured and the needs that have gone unmet.
One way I am discovering to get beyond envy is to work toward healing the past by filling up the present. We can recognize that envy is corrosive and disrespectful. It turns people we envy into objects and separates us from them. Peace of mind comes from living in the present and being comfortable with who we are. We can’t live someone else’s life, only our own.