I often question things like purpose in life, as all of us do. Looking for direction and meaning in everything I do, wondering what the karmic effect might be for each and every situation. Sometimes I join the procession of unconscious thought, and just go along with everyone around me. Perhaps it will have a zero net effect. Perhaps some things don’t hold any value in the grander scheme. Yet some trivial decisions have had life altering consequences in my life. So how does one even begin to assign value to anything?
Early in life, I placed too much value on everything, and once those things were lost or broken, I was left with what I thought was nothing. After years of valuing the wrong things, and feeling the pain of loss when they escape me, I began to value nothing, for fear of more suffering. In that, I became numb and cold to those around me, with every relationship being superficial at best. Come or go, it didn’t matter anymore, because the ties that bound us were never more than skin deep. Nothing penetrated down to the heart.
When my children were born, things began to change. They weren’t just bound to me, they were a part of me. Any threats to them or our relationship drew out the beast that lay within. Every moment of joy and love, cherished as if it may be the last. My love for them brought about even greater appreciation and love for my own parents. The perspective shift and understanding that comes from having children of your own is inescapable.
I’m grateful that those changes took place before it was too late, and I lost my mother. I was able to show my gratitude for her in my life, and assist her in the final transition when she passed. I’m also presented with the opportunity to be there for my father in his time of grief, and develop a relationship we never had before.
Other relationships still come and go, and I do my best to be a part of them as much as I am able. Due to various traumas in life, It’s been a struggle, and I’ve hurt many over the years. While I can’t use this as an excuse, understanding that has allowed me to have a clearer vision as to why I behave the way I do, and why things continue to happen the way they do. It also presents me with a choice, whether that is who I want to be.
The patterns of our life are of our own design. While we may not be responsible for everything that comes into our life, we are wholly responsible for what comes out of it. Thus it is my responsibility to break the patterns that do not serve the greater aims of my life, and it is up to me to decide what those greater aims should be. These aims have changed greatly over the years, and have shifted more and more to what comes after, and what I leave behind.
In these times where we are all struggling with loss and isolation, we have the opportunity to look deep within. Within the darkness, behind the persona of fear, lies the truth. Beyond the facades of what you think and feel, lies the truth of who you really are. There you will find true value. There you will find true purpose.