This morning, I came across a book I read last year Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. A bookmark hung lightly in between two pages and as I lightly parted them, I smiled. I had highlighted a certain paragraph on that page.
The search for contentment is, therefore, not merely a self-preserving and self-benefitting act but also a generous gift to the world. Clearing out all your misery gets you of the way. You cease being an obstacle, not only to yourself but to anyone else. Only then are you free to serve and enjoy other people.
I wrote a short note about it in Facebook last year. I have reproduced some parts of it here, with more recent thoughts added.
We are often in the way our own path to happiness and fulfillment. By that I mean, I am my biggest obstacle to greatness. I am who I say I am and vice-versa. The who, what and how of my life arises out of my own speak – what I say it is or it is not.
We don’t realise – many don’t believe – how powerful we are, even at a personal level. Our relationship with our SELF is so often so weak we fail to see the possibilities out there and the power within.
Perhaps we are afraid of our own power. It is, in some ways, easier to say “I don’t make a difference” or “nothing I do will change anything” or “It’s none of my business” and just get on with our own lives.
That reminds me of something a friend told me: the butterfly effect. Wikipedia defines this to be a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system.
Everything is inherently balanced in this universe at any point in time, in total agreement. When I sneeze, I can cause a tornado. I can and I will make a difference. Who else, if not me?