We spend so much energy constantly trying to keep up with text messages, Facebook notifications, e-mails, junk mails, snail mails, bills, stocks, and game scores. We go through the routine of our day-to-day lives; whether that consists of going-to-work or working-from-home. We eat dinner with our spouses but don’t engage in enriching conversation; we wave at our neighbors, but have no clue how they have been doing.
Instead of engaging in the various aspects of our life we lug our way through them and cling to our escapes: we chew our nails, drink coffee, eat junk food, or go to the gym. Some of us can even multitask and do a variety of those things at once. Still alas, at the end of the day, it is always the same… there are things left to do—and yet we have left so little time for ourselves.
Eventually we feel as if we are drowning– like we are being bombarded by a waterfall of thoughts and responsibilities… of which we can’t handle.
Life itself is a path of self-discovery. If we begin to take time for ourselves, open our eyes, and stop lugging through life then maybe we will stop drowning. The waterfall of thoughts that was holding us down may transform into a powerful “thought river”… as we learn to cope and appreciate ourselves that “thought river” may transform into a therapeutic stream, and eventually a calming lake.
I recently spent some time in China– where the concept of self-discovery through Buddhist teachings is observed closely. I am a Christian; However, Buddhists make some very compelling points. Self-discovery, self-respect, and clinging to spiritual beliefs are thought to be detrimental keys to a happy life. This isn’t some trip about having faith because some dude named Buddha said so twenty-six hundred years ago. It is about waking up and living your life, letting go of the bad and clinging to the good. Just as the Book of Romans states “cling to what is good.” Buddhism and Christianity may be very different—but they have one impervious thing in common—the good in life is more important than the bad.
We should view our lives as a rich opportunity– an opportunity to live, to laugh, to have relationships, to enjoy. Our alarm clocks should not be a “call to battle”, but instead a noise that makes us thankful when we wake up to another wonderful day. A day that we will actually pay attention to. A day where we will not simply go through the motions. A day where we will put away our phones and talk to our spouse.
And at the end of the day, we will be able to say “I’ve got my life together.”