During the Thanksgiving-Christmas season I always take time to reflect on just about everything: Am I doing what I really want to do in my work? How well do I prioritize my time with people and events? Do I know myself well enough to know the kinds of relationship(s) I want; especially intimate ones? Do I feel compelled to fulfill the expectations of others? What are my short and long-term goals and aspirations? How well am I managing money for the short and long terms? And most of all, what comprises happiness for me?
These questions require quiet meditation for me. It appears to also require a kind of selfishness where the answers are all about me. That’s okay, because the next sphere of consideration is, “How does my reflection affect and include someone or those around me?” For me, this should be a stepwise process of me first without the aspirations of others mixed with my answers and then recognizing that I don’t live in a world without those I love, work, and serve, my personal aspirations and goals must include them.
This is the difficult part of growing up or maturing. How do I “include” others without losing myself or feeling forced to do things that breed resentment–either spoken or unspoken? Moving through this delicate process requires “two” people who are willing to learn and grow. I notice that a number of maturing individuals, particularly women, choose to be single rather than simply “putting up” with a warm body to feel complete. There are a few lessons I have learned through the “workshop of life.”
1) Don’t feel the need for someone to complete you, you are complete, whole, and perfectly learning, just as you are.
2) Don’t look for someone to make you happy or fulfill your dreams, this expectation, in practice, will only breed resentment, polarization, and and unhappy relationship. Bring your happiness with you “to” the relationship and you both will have extended periods of bliss!
3) Don’t try to hide the difficult conversations. Things change. People change. Relationships change. And sometimes things can hurt real bad. I know from experience. But hanging in there with a trusted friend can lead to the discovery of a new person inside yourself.
4) As you reflect on the questions above, begin to create a vision or a dream for yourself in whatever spheres of life that interest you most. Then make a “quick plan” for achieving that vision. Then figure out who and what you will as resources. Remember, most of the vision or dream depends on you!
As always, the more ambitious your dream, the greater the test. Oh yeah, somewhere in the process you will be tested as to how badly you really want your dream. I know you have been reading “The Secret,” but your dream will not materialize without sweat, pain, and passing your unique tests. So dream something that is both realistic and challenging.
For now, just take a week or so for reflection. Pose the important questions to your subconscious and just be receptive to the answers popping up at unpredictable times; even while you are sleeping! Then move the second phase: formulating a vision or a dream so vivid that you could see, taste, and feel it! Then, move to phase three: planning. As you implement your plan, visualize your end-state every morning. It will guide your daily activities in the direction of your dream.
Let me know how you doing with your process or bumps you might encounter.