A conversation with a friend recently, as we relayed our experiences and generally pondered life, reminded me that life is full of contradictions. Here are a few:
Believing in heaven (some sort of happy place after death) can create the feeling that life here and now is purgatory — something to be endured, perhaps move up a level, or try to buy a way out of.
In this way, believing in heaven creates discontentment.
Fear of Death
Death is certain, and you’d think we’d have learned how to face it, yet the fear of death is the most universal of all fears.
We don’t like it when we re forced to realize our time on Earth is limited, but it can make us appreciate our life, and all the sweet moments, that much more. Or it can make us fearful, materialistic, and petty.
Many fears can be equated to the fear of death — for example, wanting to be accepted by peers = fear of rejection = life is “over” if we aren’t popular = fear of death. In this way, we blow things out of proportion and amplify our anxiety. And being accepted by our peers (as adults especially) probably just means we know how to toe the line, kiss the right asses, talk the talk, and avoid offending people who are probably too sensitive anyway!
Facing the fear of death is the one thing that gives the most freedom and life, yet most people don’t do it until they are old and don’t have much time left.
Some people seeking eternal youth get plastic surgery that makes them look old and fake. Youth (young people) are natural and real, not old and fake… and they’re also uncoordinated and inexperienced, but for some reason people don’t seek that!
The opposite of happiness is not unhappiness but boredom (This from Timothy Ferriss’ book The Four Hour Work Week). Yet I can be bored and happy at the same time (go figure)!
If you can face intense boredom and “stare it down,” you reach a place of happiness and peace.
Meditation and Seeking the Spiritual
Meditation, for long periods of time, is facing boredom (see point above).
If you are trying to “get good at meditating,” you’ve missed the point.
People try really hard to “find God” or connect to Spirit, when it’s omnipresent — everywhere at all times. It’s like searching for water in the ocean!
We all have struggles we are going through (or have gone through), so we should naturally be compassionate… yet we aren’t (usually).
When we go through the toughest times, and don’t avoid the pain or deny what’s happening/our feelings, we break through to a place of peace, grace, and compassion (even if the trial is not over).
Those who speak of the innocence of a child don’t know children. They can be extremely manipulative… and I wonder where they learn that!? The things that drive us crazy about our children they probably learned from us!
The people most likely to give advice for raising children don’t have any. 🙂