I purchased a desk calendar with insights from the Dalai Lama so that I could utilize it in helping me remember exactly what is important. It’s not that I don’t know, it’s that often times I forget and need reminded or reassured of what is important in my life, as well as my family.
“Don’t simply believe what I say without question, but use it as a basis for personal reflection and, in that way, develop your understanding of the Dharma.” ~His Holiness, the Dalai Lama
The quote above was the one that we started the year with and I find that it has me thinking about how so many people go through life just listening to what others are telling them to do or to believe. I grew up in household where I never questioned why things were happening, at least not out loud for others to hear, which led to me being put into situations that were less than favorable by those that were supposed to love and protect me. I made the conscious decision to never use the words “because I said so” with my children. I always attempt to give them a reason as to why things are happening in the hopes that they will question people who want them to follow blindly.
So as we make our way through life, be sure to question what is going on around you that may affect you directly, or even indirectly. It truly dumbfounds me as to how many people have no clue about the state of affairs going on around them. You cannot believe every word that the media, the government, your doctor, or those in power throw at you, you need to question it. Use as much, or as little of what they say as you wish, taking into account what applies to you and your life and then research the hell out of it.
I recently had a discussion about the fact that I allow my children to question my motives, as well as those of others. People cannot believe that I have allowed my children to make decisions in regards to their lives and how they want to live them. I mean after all it is their life, right? The person that I was discussing this with does not believe that children should have a say in what happens and the adults raising them should call all the shots, which is something that I don’t understand. How is it that just because I am an adult I should know what is best for another human being? I do not know exactly what it is my children are feeling, experiencing or desiring. I can only do my best to guide them to know “right” from “wrong”, not by demanding that things be done my way because my way is what is “right” for me, but by showing them compassion and understanding as they find their way into what feels “right” for them. I assure them that their interests and passions are just as valid as mine, even though they may be different.
I understand that many think that because we, as adults, have experienced life more than a child that we have a better understanding of the world around us, but that is not always the case. Adults tend to see the world around us with jaded eyes. We have experienced pain, as well as joy, yet we tend to focus more on the painful experiences that we have been through, and allow them to control our outlook on life. Is it “right” for us to pass on our jaded views to young, impressionable minds? Or shall we allow them to experience life as they see it, pure and exciting?
Up until recently, I viewed the world through jaded eyes. I have been used, hurt and beat down throughout much of my life and I allowed those times to control the way I was seeing the world. I never felt that I deserved to be happy. I never felt that I was worthy of praise, because no matter how much I did, it never came. I literally felt worthless. I allowed those times to affect the relationships that I have been in because I had built a wall to protect myself from all those previous painful moments. Granted I had no idea as to whether or not the person that I was entering into the relationship with was going to hurt me, but I had to be prepared. I had to protect myself, and my heart. The energy that went into maintaining the wall as my friends, and partners tried to break through, would never allow me to pour myself into those relationships as I should have. There were moments in which I would allow somebody in partially, only to push them away with some unrealistic expectation. It was a defense mechanism. If I was hurting the person, then I could not be hurt.
I realize now how damaging it was and that I needed to change the way I was looking at the world. I have finally decided to allow the walls to fall and just get out there and be me. I am letting go of my past and looking forward to seeing what the future will bring. Thankfully over the years I have begun to question what is said to me, reflect upon it, research it and make my own decision based on what is “right” for me. I only hope that my children can say the same, without having to wait 30+ years to realize it.
And to end it, another quote from a desk calendar given to me by Kyley:
"There is something so beautiful that children do: They charm you and demand that you stay in the present with them....There is something very enriching about trying to live in the moment." ~ Julia Ormond
And live in the moment I will...from this day forward.