When there is love in a marriage, there is harmony in the home; when there is harmony in the home, there is contentment in the community; when there is contentment in the community, there is prosperity in the nation; when there is prosperity in the nation, there is peace in the world. Chinese Proverb
True happiness births and evolves from within ourselves despite our external circumstances and the stories, beliefs and ideals we attach to others and situations past, present and future in our lives. The true test of who you are, how secure and resilient you are and the relationships you have in your life is when life circumstances change beyond your control or expectations. Despite taking care of your health, you may still get ill; despite working hard in your job and accomplishing work goals, you may still get made redundant; your beautiful home may be destroyed in a natural disaster; your husband/wife may leave you suddenly through choice, or by death; you may lose a child or relative unexpectantly; or you may be suffering the consequences of your actions through poor health/relationship/money choices. Either way, everything changes and there are no guarantees in life. All we have is the present moment where we can change the past and future by how we choose to act and treat others in each given moment. Instead of judging others by their external circumstances, material possessions, or bank balance, pay attention to how the people close to you and who you invite into your life choose to act when things are going wrong, when obstacles show up, when plans and projects fail, when they experience any type of loss or sudden change, this will enlighten you to the true character and qualities of that person and how their actions and behaviours could influence and impact your life for better or for worse. The following is a poem to guide you and ask yourself how you and the people close to you are choosing to live and what is really important in your/their life:
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love,
For your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life’s betrayals or
Have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain!
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own;
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you
To the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful,
Be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your life from God’s presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have,
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came here,
I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the Fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away,
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, And if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder.