“We are not humans having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
~Pierre Teilhard deChardin~
Success means different things to different people and I think that it depends on background, education, genes, and, let’s face it, Fate. We can only do so much in the creating of our destinies. There are those moments when we realize that we need to let go. We take one path and end up going on a detour through the swamp when we expected to be flying high. We dream, we hope, we make good choices and bad decisions. We despair, we get depressed, we laugh, we cry.
When I was young I thought in terms of getting married, having children, buying a house, a car, and perhaps as time went on winning a Nobel Peace prize or even better, a Pulitzer Prize. Oh, and having lots of money without having to work too hard. This would be success.
That would be a broad definition, and not only that but also by whose definition are we measured by? Who (or what) decides what success is and what is not? Certainly recognition for something well done is important. It helps to validate us and weaves us into the common weave of humankind. Each of us is a thread of a wonderful tapestry.
In retrospect, I think that my years on this planet have added up to two main successes.
1. Childbearing/ mothering. Each time I gave birth (six times) I was brought back to myself. I tapped into the strength, courage, and faith and an abounding love that unfailingly brought me to tears of gratitude. I have never regretted my decision to have my children naturally (after my first experience in a hospital which was traumatic). Giving birth to another human being is the highest sacrament of all. Throughout life my children have me centered no matter what crazy things go on. Motherhood gives me confidence, and in spite of hard times, challenges, and doubts, that confidence has remain with me all these years. Now that they are grown the mothering style has changed but the love has only deepened on the most simple and profound level.
2. The evolvement of the spiritual/writing aspect of my life; for those things go hand in hand. The process of writing down my thoughts, of sitting in repose as I reflect on what is important to me has heals me, and thus helps to heal others. We are all connected. The writing journey is a journey inward, a path into the subconscious that inevitably leads to an epiphany and a realization of a truth that has perhaps lain buried. Through reading and writing I discover what I really believe in, not what I have been told, but what I believe. Through writing I compose my heart songs.
So much for the Pulitzer Prize, or writing as a way to make money. I don’t strive for that day when I will be published, rich and famous, with my picture on the back of my latest book. Success, for me is to have a peace of mind, to know myself, to love and be loved, to enjoy this human experience.