Sunday, July 15, 2012

Having Enough

Here is my reflection from today. I'm proud of it and enjoyed writing it. The last bit I stole from my brilliant mother when she was helping me with my reflection. I love her so.

Brian asked me to reflect on what was “enough” in today’s world. I am often struggling with finding balance between accepting that what I have is enough (more than enough, really) and wanting more. In fact, that very question is what led me into my search for meaning in my adult life. I figured there had to be more than a hedonistic life. There had to be. If there wasn’t, then it was a sad world we lived in.
I have worked hard to try and become more spiritual. I strive to be content and grateful with what I have and also, try to become more generous. I’ve spent several of the last few years studying buddhism and working to bring spirituality into my everyday life. To be a better person. I have tried to live in the moment and find joy in that.
But a lot of times I fail. There’s lots of distractions. For instance, I love to travel. It’s my thing. I spend lots of hours dreaming about it, researching possible trips, reading travelogues and trying to make plans to escape. But travel costs money. And the way I like to travel costs lots of money. And so sometimes I get super frustrated that we don’t have enough money to do what I want. My inner goddess stomps her feet about that. She stomps her feet often, I’m afraid. I want to travel where I want to, send my kids to private school if I want to, hire a lawn service and re-do my kitchen. I want to not worry about property taxes and medical bills. I want to throw extravagant parties for my friends and family and lavish them with presents.
Ack. I sound awful don’t I? And when I write them all out, I realize that those are all selfish wants and not needs. I know, when I take a step back and think on those less fortunate and on my Buddhist training, that I am spoiled brat. But then I remember that I also shouldn’t be mean to myself or others so I rephrase that in my head and know that I am on the path, but I still have a ways to go. What I should do is let all those wants go and focus on the here and now. That I should find joy in what I have and find joy in doing service to others with what I have right now. The buddhists say that if I can do that, I can find true happiness. And happiness is the thing I always wished for every single time I blew out my candles on my birthday cake or threw a penny in a fountain.
But I’m also sure I could find happiness on a disney cruise, or a fabulous caribbean all inclusive... ah stop. Of course I could, but the wanting and not getting it is making me unhappy so I must stop. See, evil circle of desire what you are doing to me?
This is why I seek spiritual balance in my life. I remember the Dalai Lama telling us that self cherishing is the cause of all suffering. The greatest joy is getting out of ourselves enough to find the joy in giving to others. It's so easy to forgo the cruise to give essentials to those we love. There is so much more joy in the heart to heart than the departure to the destination.

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