I have found that it’s very easy to deny how “attached” we are to the presence of the others who are journeying with us. It’s surely never wrong to be attentive to the presence of the many others around us. In fact, being attentive, witnessing the lives of others, is the highest compliment we can pay them, and one we should make. But letting anyone else take center stage in the drama of our life is the very thing that prevents us from actually living our own life. Letting any one of the many others journeying with us have the central role on our stage means we live in the wings of their life. Remaining central on our own stage is the goal of a life well lived.
Accepting that other people are instrumental to our growth, our personal discoveries as well as our joy, is far different from dancing around them and thinking that’s the purpose for which we, and they, were born. But if dancing too close to others has been your primary focus in life up until now, get ready for a great ride. There is another way to live, and it’s not about leaving any particular person behind, or any relationship behind. Rather, it’s about daily discovering and then maintaining the right balance of anyone else’s presence.
Changing old behaviors means the cultivation of new behaviors and that can only make sense if we have a clear picture of our old behaviors. We must look closely at ourselves to see and appreciate all of whom we currently are. Just because we are intent on making changes doesn’t mean we should disgustedly discard the person we were before we committed to change. We can only be where we are. Where we go next is the purpose of this undertaking.
As the saying goes, “Whereever we go, there we are,” but we “are” who we want to be in the next moment if we are intent on becoming the butterfly or the daffodil rather than remaining the seedling or the cocoon.
I want to reiterate, the intent of this post is not to make you feel ashamed about who you are or have been. We are the best we can be most times. But we are always in a new space, a new moment, with the passage of time. And each new moment is giving us the opportunity we may need to grow into the next stage of who we really want to be.
The opportunities abound for our growth. The opportunities abound for our necessary encounters with those who have “agreed” to meet with us. The opportunities abound for us to be both the teachers and the students that comprises each community of souls that we will experience on our journey. What lucky women and men we are to have such purposeful lives. Let’s go forth and pay attention to where we find ourselves. Here and Now.