Friday, June 18, 2010

The work of a lifetime

By nature I am not particularly achievement oriented. I'm more contemplative than active, more a thinker than a doer, more idealistic than materialistic. On the whole, I've always been more inclined towards simply being, taking each moment, each day as it comes and living it fully. My most immensely satisfying moments are those in which I am wholly engaged in the present moment. Most of the time, I finding meaning life in simply enjoying life.

Yet there's also the sense that I have something to do, something to accomplish in this world before I go. And this can, at times, create an incredible sense of pressure within me: I fear that I'm not doing enough, not accomplishing enough, not making enough of an impact upon the world, commensurate to my talents and intelligence.

At times like this I need to stop and breathe.

Does it really fall upon my shoulders to solve all of the world's problems in the space of, say, eighty years?

What do I have to accomplish? Who do I have to impress? What bar must I be able to jump in order to say, I am worthy, my life is worthy, I have not lived in vain?

Is it not enough simply to have lived?

In the words of Rainer Maria Rilke:

But to have been this once, completely, even if only once:
to have been at one with the earth, seems beyond undoing.


I don't have to fix everything before I go. All I have to do is contribute to the solutions.

Continuing to contribute, present moment by present moment...