Thank you for being here to read this post. My grandfather has not been keeping well for the past few weeks. I have so many fond memories of him that its really hard to even imagine him leaving his body. Today, I do feel called to write this post. I remember my grandfather telling me stories about his experiences as a child long back in Kashmir. The beauty in the narration was so mesmerising that I could easily imagine how happy be was then.
He has had a very successful life. He studied, he worked hard, he gave in his best to accomplish all his goals. And he did. He became a wealthy person owning the position and intellect he desired. Several awards fell into his lap and he made his way straight upto the ladder of success. And then, one day there was suddenly no more to accomplish, no more to aim for, no more to get. And that day, everything in his life began to go downhill. Dr. Dyer often used to speak about the shift we all need to make from ambition to meaning. Today, I can see clearly what he meant.
Having goals and aims isnt something wrong. But living your life solely with a plan to accomplish things makes life meaningless. In youth, we have a long list of things we expect ourselves to achieve. As one grows older, he passes this list onto his children and then finally onto his grandchildren. The desire of getting more seems to have no end to it. My grandfather would always say to me,”You must always be on the top.” He did reach the top, then what? A meaningless life doesnt bring you any happiness. We focus so much on getting the things we want that if one day we truly get all that we want, we would be finished because thats what our entire life has been based on.
My mother’s grandmother lived a life full of meaning. At an age, when in those days women would feel depressed being all alone as their kids were all married and settled, she took up the responsibility of raising her grandchildren though her daughters-in-law would always be there. She had no wants and needs. I remember once she walked into my maternal home and everyone chose to stay away from her chattering. I patiently sat down next to her and she began to speak. She spoke in her mother tongue which unfortunately I couldnt understand. I didnt give her any response, yet she went on talking for over an hour. She had a beautiful smile on her glowing wrinkled face the whole time.
That conversation was a heart to heart tranfer of knowledge. Though I never understood a word she spoke, I now realise that in that conversation she had passed on to me the wisdom of a lifetime. Let me offer you this wisdom now.
Your existence as a being of light should have some meaning in it. Meaning isnt about accomplishing or accmulating stuff. Its about giving it away. If you gain knowledge and you share it, your existence has some meaning. But if you keep it all to yourself, you did nothing to add meaning to this life. When you work with a will to serve, when you receive with the joy of gratitude, when you create with the fire of passion and spread your word with the light of compassion, thats when you are truly living. Wanting something isnt wrong. We all have our own sets of goals and its really good to work towards something. But with a meaning. You no longer go on with your life with meaningless wants and desires. You find meaning in all that you do. Its no longer about getting that job or qualifying for that post. Its about working to your fullest potential, a will to serve the company you wish to work for and earning money to add to this meaning.
When you start giving, you feel blessed. Thats not because the blessings are suddenly being showered upon you. But because now you can clearly see the meaning or the blessings behind the happenings of your life. Today, I can proudly say that I no longer look at my expsriences and say,”Why did this happen to me?” I can see the blessings which came disguised as obstacles, breakdowns, mean people and distressing situations. Living a life full of meaning, each day is a surprise for me. I dont wake up with a feeling of knowing exactly how each day is going to turn out. I wake up with a will to find meaning in all that happens so that I can relish the blessings being showered upon me.
My mother’s grandmother was really fond of watching hindi movies though she couldnt understand the language. She would always find someone to serve as her human translator. She loved something and was looking for meaning in it. About three years ago, I watched the very beautiful movie “Paradise kiss” with no subtitles. I couldnt understand a word they spoke. But to a great extent, I did understand all that was happening. Throughout the movie, I was looking for meaning in something I loved. Towards the end of the movie, the female proragonist sees a beautifully designed dressed marked with a butterfly symbol which her long lost lover had used earlier in the movie. She instantly knew that it was designed by her lover and this paved the way for their union. Are you looking for meaning in all that you love? Do you work because you want to find meaning in your subject of interest or is it just a means to please everyone around you. Are you planning on having a child because you want to find meaning in the joy of parenthood or is it just because you see it as a rule that everyone follows.
You cannot find meaning in life until you choose love as your compass. Its only when you experience each moment of your life not as a stepping stone to something more, but as a divine experience filled with blessings, will you be able to see how much you have to give and share. And then you will find meaning in things you couldnt understand why they happened. You will no longer be a victim but a master of your fate knowing the ultimate truth and making your existence worthwhile.
“Because in the end nothing mattered but love.” Dr. Barbara de Angelis