What Does Success Mean to You?

Here is something we really need to remember, or at least I do. Write it down or something. Put it on a post-it and tack it to your mirror.

The most peaceful, loving, and kind people, the people who made great, healing change and who we reference again and again and again, are not usually the people with a ton of money. Rarely have the people who inspired us most or won over our hearts been the people with millions of dollars. The people whose words we seek when we’re down and out, when we’re depressed, when we’re breaking inside, are not the people who are living in the biggest of houses with fancy jet planes.

And as I say that, I remember Taylor Swift, and I realize I am wrong. Because I dance to her music all the time, and dancing to her music makes me happy. So just forget everything I just said.

But seriously, here’s the thing that bothers me, here’s the thing that hurts. We all want to be successful in this life, but we don’t know how to get there or what it means. And one person’s version of success can be wildly different than someone else’s. So much of life is about figuring out what matters to you, deep down, at a core level. And in different phases of life, what matters most, what rises to prominence, may change. We are not narrow, skinny-minded, limited-loving people. We grow and progress, we make waves, and sometimes we retreat for a while because that’s what we need to do. Life comes in seasons and in cycles. We have to trust that. We are not set here on earth to be an ever-growing, flaming hot orb. We are part of nature. We shift with the tides. We flow.

Me? I want to help people. That’s all. I want to use my God-given talents and my God-given energy to do what I can to make a mark on the world, because I know that every single person has the power to make a mark. It is as simple as an interaction with someone, an offer of kindness or generosity when someone is down and out. That’s making a mark. That’s being a healer.

But I am really getting worried by the growing trend of making money off of spirituality. I am really not sure what to do with that. I need to make a living, sure, and I know I have spiritual gifts to offer. But I cannot present myself as the Enlightened One, as the One you must come to and take refuge and solace. The One with the answers. Who are these people who are saying these things? When someone says his motivation is good, do we know it is good? How can we know? How can we tell the True Teachers, who lead us home, from the false prophets who take our money and suggest that in exchange, they’ll giving us a foundation from which to live our lives?

I’ll tell you how you know truth.

The truth is gentle.

The truth is feeling loved.

The truth feels lighter inside, and that’s how you can tell you’re becoming free.

Waking up is not some grand slam, some giant BAM in your life. The true healer, and the true teacher, will make you cry because you’ll be filled with compassion and a tender heart. The true healer, the true teacher, doesn’t tell you how to get rich. (Getting rich is not a problem! But it is not the point to being alive!) Waking up, moving forward, feeling safe, does not come from someone setting a spark to your life and telling you that fear is a good thing, so now you have to unpack your belief systems. People do this all the time, and claim they have answers. And they want us to return to them, again and again. To look to them for truth.

But the truth is inside you, baby. You know it, you feel it. And the people you want to sit with, the people you want to hold your hand, are the people who encourage you to find it there. Deep inside. Inner trust. Not dependence on anyone else, though we help each other, and we are all meant and created to help.

I am so sad to have been in situations where I rely on someone who seems to know things to tell me how to do what I need to do, rather than simply relying on God-given (and affordable!) help that is always available at any given time. Because when something comes from the Divine, when something is meant for your goodness, it is a nudge, not a wildfire. Actually, it is a wildfire when you haven’t been listening, so scratch that. What am I trying to say?

It is just hard to figure everything out. It is hard not to make a mess of your life. It is hard how to know what “right living” is, when “right living” according to everyone else does not set you free, and does not make you happy, and only makes you feel more deeply imprisoned and deeply chained.

What God wants for you will come to you, I promise. It will show up at your door. That does not mean you sit on the stoop all day. You go through your life, you do your duties, you handle your many tasks. And you’ll take action, hopefully, without having to think too much about it.

If you have to think too much about something, is it right for you?

I don’t know. I can’t say. I just know that the best things in life seem to be surprises, seem to be in the flow and in the moment, seem to only later have been divinely planned.

I am telling you all of this because I am stuck today, and overwhelmed, and sometimes you can’t know resistance in yourself to doing what is true and right and meant to be. And perhaps you are not, and can never, figure that sort of thing out. And perhaps you can, with time, and patience, and practice, and testing yourself, and seeing what happens. And being brave. And always, always, always always always, being you. Being you is the best thing you could ever ever be.

I read this line of Scripture, which inspired this post: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This is said by Jesus in the Gospel of John, and I don’t know the number of verse, and that doesn’t really matter, because you can google this if you really want to find it.

What is the teaching to hold fast to? Love your neighbor as yourself. Love. Love, love, love. Eat with people, break bread. Love God (be that God male or female, be that the Great HeShe!) with all your body, mind, and soul. See that as the center from which all things flow.

If you’re doing that, you’ll be pretty damn successful.

So just let go of all the rest.

I hear it is a New Year?


Photo by Guille Álvarez on Unsplash

Categories: career, journey, love, spirituality and faith

Tags: , , ,

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