Here is a poignant thought about our past and how it relates to the future: Looking back on our childhoods and finding understanding and closure from negative experiences is paramount. But for us middle age people, what about those decades that have evolved and dissolved so quickly over time since we were children. We all have a path of suffering and resolution to trek on this adventure called life. How many of us look back on the past or even the present and feel the pressure of work, family and keeping up with the social strain and anxiety of ego. We all have dreams and aspirations and some of us are afraid to strike out and take risks. Some of us are incredibly cautious and calculated while others may be careless or stubborn.  We all have our celebrations and tragedies and we all have our successes and failures in life.  It is experience that forms us as humans from the inside out and from the outside in. We also have this benchmark set in our minds of where we should be in life. Ever heard of a “midlife crisis”? Questions arise – Have we measured up to our parent’s success or the success of our friends we have grown up with? Now as adults, are we meeting our past expectations?

My Father brought up a good point recently.  He said there is nothing wrong with working hard and it is normal to feel the overwhelming stresses of life – it is something we all go through. He quips, the key is fulfilling your dreams to their fullest. Further, we cannot let fear hold us back. We need to work hard, occasionally taking risks and do the best we can. When we reach the golden age of life we need to be able to look back on our past and feel contentment. That’s right, contentment… You should not have to say “what if”. Follow your dreams and aspirations and do your best to achieve those goals that mean something to you. Even if you fall short, you can still have the satisfaction that you at least tried your best. It seems when we put positive energy into something we are passionate about, even if we fall short of expectations, the end result will still be something authentic, pleasant and worthwhile. Any effort, especially in the right direction of hard work, goodwill and karma will result in a positive outcome.

So, as our childhood memories begin to dissolve and fade and even our own children are all grown up, what will matter most will be how hard you worked and how you have carried yourself through life based on karma, creditability and love. Focus your energies on those notions and have satisfaction in knowing you did it all. My Father speaks from experience as he looks toward his seventh decade of life – he speaks about how with age our agility and youthfulness disappears. Once youth dies, we are heavily reliant on remaining family and friends that surround us and maybe just as important; our past actions and how we have carried ourselves through life. We need to be able to look back on our lives and smile – If you look back on your past now, no matter where you are in life, and can’t smile; you need to make some fundamental changes in your life now.

Live with an open mind…

Be conscious of karma…

Have compassion for your enemies…

Love yourself and others…

…. And that smile will show itself soon. That is the essence of a Responsive Universe.

John C. Bader

(image by !gotycki)

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