There are few guarantees in this world. "The only sure things are death and taxes" used to be the cliche. That's a bit cynical but with divorce and unemployment on the rise, certainly some certainties are becoming less so in our Western Society.
If you Google 'security', the first items that come up have to do with financial planning. We put a lot of emphasis on money matters and give a lot of attention to acquiring, earning and managing money.
In 1929 when the stock market crashed some people who were wealthy on paper became impoverished literally over night. Some of those people jumped out of windows to their death because they couldn't cope with their loss. Their security lay in their financial circumstances and when that security was lost they were devastated.
And yet I would like to suggest that if we feel secure in ourselves - with the sense of who we are - whatever surprises life may throw at us will be less of a challenge to navigate. Furthermore, the more confident we are in ourselves the better our relationships will be. We will be better able to express and to listen to others. And effective communication has certainly been seen as the root of relationship success.
How do we become more confident in ourselves?
By spending quality time alone, discovering what we value, hope for and want most out of life.
By taking responsibility when we make mistakes and forgiving others when they make theirs, becoming less judgmental, more accepting and more transparent.
By reaching out, helping others in need and receiving help when we need it.
When I look at who I was as a young woman, how much I craved love and affection and put my emphasis on my yearnings, my decisions revolved around other people and having them satisfy my needs. I made bad choices, particularly in romantic love, because I had a need to be met and all my attention was on finding fulfillment in that. What I've come to realize is that when I am willing to give up my ambition and focus on what others need, my life is full of love, joy and far more value than if I clung to that one desire above all else.
Once I recognized my desires but gave up searching for them and instead began to see others and their needs, I became much more confident, contented and fulfilled. The fact is, what we think we want and what we really need can be quite different. Once we surrender our wish list, we can get on with living -- giving and receiving life and it's opportunities. Then we become enriched by the ebb and flow of existence, where the guarantee is that there will always be challenges that enable us to grow in character, personality and self awareness.
As for me, the irony is that once I gave up pursuing romantic love, it found me. I think that, when we enjoy where we are, rather than exist to find what we think we want, life is more fulfilling and the things which need to be are more likely to come into being.
The road ahead may not be certain but when we are comfortable in our own skin, the journey is far more pleasant.
|Road Ahead by Sarah Tun|