“It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” – The Bhagavad Gita (an ancient Indian Yogic text)
I have just finished this book.
I loved it.
To say I loved it is quite an understatement really. It’s one of those books I could read over and over and over again and not ever get tired of the words. It made me think a good deal about my own life, as I’m sure it did for the million other people around the world who read it. The author takes herself on a search for the meaning of pleasure, devotion, and balance. All of which are very thought provoking subjects for me lately. I have been in a bit of a search mode, it seems.
What should I be doing with my life???
Always the eternal question.
As if what I’m doing with my life is never enough.
I was raised with a mother who never sat still. Always going, going, going. I sit still quite a lot. And would have to admit there is a good amount of guilt involved with that sitting as well. “I should be up doing this, I should be out doing that.” Except, is that what I really want? Or rather is it just my mother’s voice ever resonating in my head?
I love my mother, don’t get me wrong. But she and I are two completely different people. What revs her engine of life and motivation has absolutely no stimulating result on mine. But whatever it is, it’s still there, in the back of my head all the same. And frankly, it annoys the hell out of me.
All this I finally realized this morning. I rose roughly around the delightful hour of noon, stumbled into my kitchen after kissing the sweetie good day. I slipped easily into my daily ritual of coffee, made lovingly lately in my personal stovetop espresso maker, one of the first gifts Daniel ever gave me. I sat there groggy, waiting for the water to rise in temperature, waiting for the rewarding hissing and popping noise of the darkly delicious liquid spouting up into the metal carafe. I love days like today. It’s Thursday, which is always my day off. I feel especially satisfied with my laziness on my days off, as if it’s my right or something. Every other day I always feel the slight or sometimes not-so-slight tug of guilt. The coffee finishes and I settle into the sofa, book in hand, smile on the lips. Before I realize it, the coffee is finished and so is the book. This book in which the author takes a year and dedicates it to prayer, reflection, pleasure….. basically a year she dedicated to herself. It was a life of balance. A life of simplicity. And so it was this morning, after pondering the details and images and lessons about life that this book evokes, that I had my epiphany about my life and my mother.
I don’t have to be going a hundred miles an hour like she does to have a fulfilled and happy life.
I don’t need anything more in my life to make it better. It’s fabulous just the way it is.
I don’t need some crazy career that takes me away from home 50 hours a week.
I do not require a perfectly clean and organized home (which, I might add, I am not in the least bit able to accomplish anyways) to have a happy life.
Let’s run through life as I know it, shall we:
I have a comfortable home in which I live.
I have a man that loves me and supports me mentally and emotionally in a way I never knew possible.
I eat VERY well. Every two hours, in fact.
I have a family of friends that surround me with love and entertainment.
I have my health.
What more do I need? What more should I want? Nothing. The only thing missing really is one thing.
Allowing myself to be content with these things. And I am, content. I have everything I need. The rest is just frosting. Sure there are things that I still want to do for self improvement. But really, the only thing I want to do lately is just be content. Content with this life of simplicity.