We have been looking for answers.
What is the point of all this?
What is the essence?
Some say it’s about selfish genes.
Others say it’s about game.
Some say it’s about development.
Others say it’s about enlightenment.
Some say it’s about experience.
Others say it’s about sacrifice.
Some say it’s about success.
Others say it’s about love.
Some say it’s about good and bad.
Others say it’s about salvation.
We are looking for new goals and new challenges.
We hope a new job will give us satisfaction.
We hope children will add meaning to our lives.
We hope degrees and diplomas will make us rich.
We hope a new car will make us happy.
We hope exotic holiday will bring us joy.
All these things can bring us joy, happiness and fulfillment, indeed.
Yet, they are not the answer.
Goals are important because we know in which direction we go. We plan, we act and we optimize our efforts.
The road is important because it defines our experience. We either enjoy it or suffer moment by moment.
Yet, the point is not in the goals, not even the road we travel.
The point is in a moment when we stop.
It’s too trivial you may say.
Have you ever climbed a mountain? Or a rock?
When we are walking or climbing towards our destination, we focus on what needs to be done, step by step. There is a plan of action or a routine to follow. There is a sustained effort.
Yet, there is a moment when we stop. Then we take a full breath and look around. We appreciate the beauty and acknowledge what is behind us and what is before us. It is exactly when we stop to become present in the moment.
We appreciate sore legs, pains in the calves, sore fingers from grabbing the rock, or shoulder aches from carrying a backpack. In such a moment we feel fully alive.
We appreciate the goal, the path and the effort.
What is a stop?
It is a moment between our out-breath and our in-breath.
It is a moment we are to wait. For an appointment, a bus or a friend.
It is a moment we become ill. A common cold or a serious disease.
It is a moment we make a turn when we lost our way.
It is a moment we make a choice.
It is a moment of coaching, therapy, massage, dancing, tapping, prayer, pilgrimage, meditation, travel or volunteering.
You may say that none of the above makes sense to you. You may say that such modalities do not work in your life. You tested all the tools and there is no improvement, but only problems and unhappiness. It has become worse instead of better.
All depends on how the external stimuli affects you. It does not matter what the stimuli is.
Will it make you curious to search for answers so that your inner playfulness is awaken?
Will it make you paralyzed from fear so that aggression is encouraged?
Natural curiosity is one of the greatest inner resources you have. If you suspend disbelief, disappointment, bitterness and grief, your curiosity will open new horizons. And such a curiosity leads to playfulness.
When children are eager to play, they learn fast. The same holds for you.
On the other hand, lack of learning leads to frustration. Fear fires hostility. Rage becomes aggression. When aggression has been suppressed for a long time this self-aggression turns into an autoimmune disease.
When children are timid and uncertain, they are more prone to aggression. The same holds for you.
Sometimes the external stimuli is not to your liking. You don’t welcome it, neither appreciate. However, it comes to you and it comes with a powerful impact.
Perhaps your friend betrayed you.
Perhaps you lost your job or a house.
Perhaps your child became a drug addict.
Perhaps you had a car accident because somebody run into you.
Perhaps your parent, friend or a beloved one was diagnosed with cancer.
Perhaps you made a deal with dishonest people and run into huge debts.
Perhaps your company lost liquidity and you are on the way to bankruptcy.
Perhaps your hard disc suddenly crashed burring all your projects, data and files alive.
You are lost.
It is a moment when you stop.
Have you become fearful?
Whatever the difficulties, in the moment we either stop or are made to stop, we can make a choice.
Do we want to subscribe to fear and become bitter, hostile and aggressive? Or, do we want to spark our curiosity to look for new possibilities? Are we searching for transformation or progress? Can we move from glory to glory?
We cannot change the event. The stop is there. But we can change our perception and response.
Photo credit Fe Langdon, available under Creative Commons on Flickr.