July 26

Today's quotation:

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is awaiting us.  The old skin
has to be shed before the new one can come.

Joseph Campbell

Today's Meditation:

This is a fascinating thought that makes me stop and think deeply every time I see it.  Just how much of the life I'm leading now is the result of my attempts to "forge" the life I want, versus allowing life to push me in certain directions that would be the best for me as a spiritual being who is having a human experience?  If my focus is on building up my bank account, then my desire to be an artist will slip aside and I'll never lead the life of an artist.  If I put all my effort into climbing the corporate ladder, then I'll never travel and learn about other people, cultures, and ways of life.

It's interesting to see that most of us "plan" lives that follow socially acceptable definitions of success--money in the bank, a home and a mortgage, the admiration of friends and colleagues and business partners, diplomas and certificates on the walls.  Interestingly enough, though, the times in my life when I've been working in motels have been more important to my growth as a human being than the time that I've spent getting my doctorate or even "using" that doctorate.  I've learned more about myself in a service industry than in a professional position.  And while professional growth is very important, so is spiritual growth--and I think that most of us would agree that the latter probably has more of an eternal element to it.

I'd like to think that the life awaiting me has fulfillment that I can't even imagine--and if I can't imagine it, then how can I plan for it?  I try to keep myself open to life and to God and to the fact that the road I'm on will have twists and turns and forks, and I hope that I'm able to let life lead me, rather than trying to control my life based on ideas and ideals that I'll soon outgrow, anyway.

Questions to consider:

What kind of life would you truly like to be living?  Do you feel that life is calling you in any particular direction?

Why is it often difficult to step out of the roles we've planned and step into the roles and situations we desire?

What are the best elements of the life you've planned?

For further thought:

I wanted a perfect ending.  Now I've learned, the hard way,
that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have
a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Life is about not knowing,
having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next.

Gilda Radner


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