Time and nature have a way of combining to resolve the imbalances in our lives. Which is why the older I grow, the more I try to adjust to the patience required to see through tough times, with a smile on my face. Life, on its own and without your help, would complicate matters for you. Sadly, a number of times, we find ourselves helping life down its destructive path; either intentionally or otherwise. I want to share with you, the 3 factors in the way of your fulfillment and happiness in life. Older, wiser, lighter; beyond these, you take what is thrown at you and move on. And then, you know you have reached that ever-elusive “good place”.
It’s not like we really have a choice with growing older. What matters is how we adjust to life beyond each birthday celebration. Age automatically comes with experience. No matter how inattentive you are, you cannot avoid naturally absorbing life’s lessons along your way. The learning may not always be active, but your inherent sense of self-preservation and desire for progress, will plant a passive lesson or two in your heart and mind. Embrace your new ages. It’s a stripe of honour. And never feel like you are leaving your best years behind. The concept of “best years” is subjective. I loved my 20s because; I discovered myself, spent time abroad, got my first job and became financially independent. Exciting, wasn’t it? But then I entered my 30s, became a family man, a busier professional, got less sleep and generally became more socially connected at a more serious level. Add that to my trimming down of close friends, and one might assume I must be missing my 20s. But there has never been a single day in my 30s that I have looked back on my 20s with longing. These are the best years of my life, until better ones come along, of course. It’s all subjective, entirely how you choose to see your life.
“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” – Job 12:12 (NIV)
It does, and it is unavoidable. The choice of accepting wisdom and gaining understanding, rests entirely with you. Wisdom comes to you everyday. If only you will think deeper about your experiences, you will find the wisdom in them quite noteworthy for your future. One of the more prominent barriers to gaining wisdom, is our desire not to move on from the past, and the childish things therein. It’s painful, I know. It’s painful because the bosom of immaturity is very comfortable, very safe, a hide-out from the realities of advancing years. For some, they are left with little choice. At least, until fate and discomfort bring wisdom and forced maturity their way. But there are those who unfortunately, have never been under pressure to grow up, or even if they have been, have never felt pressure to make it happen. For those ones, we can only pray for. But the fundamental point is that, age and longer life bring wisdom and understanding one’s way. It is unavoidable. Deciding to use it, however, is optional.
MAKING YOURSELF LIGHTER
This should come easy, but it always doesn’t work out like that. Why do I say so? As you add on burdens in life, there comes the point of the natural weigh-down, where it becomes too much, and you can barely carry it all. The trick in a truly happy and fulfilled life, is learning how to let go. Every experience – whether negative or positive – is an extra burden on your life. We must shed the load from time to time. That is the only way we can maintain long term sanity in the face of adversity. But unfortunately, not all of us get this. We would rather carry all our burdens by ourselves, and brood into depression. Look at the lives we live:
The friends we no longer speak to; the ex-lovers we now hate; the family members we avoid; the playground grudges we still bear; the colleagues we rat-race with for promotions; the schoolmates we envy; all these are burdens, we need to shed. We are overweight. Overweight with negative energy. The effort required to shed your burdens have to be conscious. You have to purpose in your heart to find true happiness today, by confronting your past one last time, before finally dropping and burying it. Make yourself agile again. For the sake of your own progress; in your faith, your career, your family life. Only you can start the process of making yourself lighter. Learn to let go. Forgive yourself and forgive the people that made life the way it is. After all, stone is heavy and sand a burden, but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both (Proverbs 27:3).
Only then, can we say you have truly grown.