Keeping Life Simple

I used to want to reflect on each day, and feel I had done something, no matter how small, to move closer to my goals. Now, I am happy to allow things to unfold at their own pace, and to surrender any attachment to outcomes.

I used to want to feel I was doing something worthwhile, making a positive contribution. Now, I’m perfectly content knowing I may exist largely insignificantly, and that my actions may have no impact of note on anything at all.

I used to want to feel I was a useful member of society. Now I see that my only duty is to be myself – my usefulness, and even my belonging, or not, to society – are not for me to decide.

I used to think that to feel successful, it would be nice to gain some recognition. Now, I remember all those who work unrewarded in the shadows, and that getting the most limelight means nothing in terms of a person’s usefulness.

I used to choose my role models for what they’d achieved and accomplished, including things like the hardships they had overcome. Now, I choose them for how happy, content, and free of ego and self-concern they seem.

I used to think about how people saw me, or what they thought of me. Now, I‘ve even given up caring about how I see myself – why waste energy on a self-image, on the self-gratification of ‘the story of me’? It’s much easier to simply exist, as I am, moment by moment.

I used to think I had to agree with people, at least on important issues, for us to be friends. Now, I know that all I need is to genuinely like and appreciate them.

I used to feel that the more I did, the better I would fare in life and the more I’d accomplish. Now, I see that doing happens when it is needed, as does not doing, also that effort arises when required, as does taking things easy.

I used to give myself encouragement, with words like, ‘Onward and upwards!’, ‘Don’t give up!’ or ‘Keep going!’ Now, I see that this is futile, I will never get to where I want to be, except fleetingly, if at all, as is the case with all hypothetical places. Much better to find joy here, just as things are. And to enjoy the journey of life, wherever it takes me.

I used to think I could learn a lot from certain people. Now, I realize that while this is true, I have more to learn than I thought from myself. And from children and pets.

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