Living Fearless In a Fearful World
This post is not about success. At least not in the traditional sense of the word. But it is about reflection on all definitions of success in the face of death. Very rarely have we been so vulnerable to the prospect of dying due to external reasons in the most common of situations. I no longer have to be in a battle zone to lose my life. I realize I can die shopping for watermelons in the neighborhood grocery store, while running on the lakeshore, at the local cafe while eating my croissant or while giving a presentation at work.
Grateful is not a word we would use for the incidents in motion across the world. But I am grateful for the realization of mortality that is so in my face. The knock on the door is hard, calling us to take notice of our whole lives - on how we are living, on the definitions of success we have long harbored or the unforgiveness that lives within us.
Death can be the greatest teacher, as in the face of it, every semblance of urgent and important that we have long held dear, weathers away. We stand face to face with what is real. Are these incidents here to remind us to take notice? Are they here to remind us to 'die' that self that is no longer working, before we die?
Here are six questions to reflect on in the face of incredible turmoil in the world, which will ultimately define our human successstory.
1. Are we all Connected?
Our bubble of life consists of the relationships that we came with or made here, our jobs, the chores and our thoughts and emotions about our life. The incidents around the world are calling us to burst the bubble we are in and recognize how interconnected our lives truly are. We are hurt when a dead Syrian child is found in the shores of Turkey and we feel angst when innocent people are killed mercilessly, no matter where they are in the world.
We are all a part of a connected consciousness which is affected by the awakening of each and every one of us. Everytime we love, forgive, accept, serve - we impact the connected consciousness and raise its vibration. We may or may not be able to solve terrorism in the years to come, but the so called terrorists are also a part of the unified consciousness, whether they like it or not. We don’t have to take up guns, carry rage or go on a public demonstration. Love is the highest vibration there is. With love comes acceptance and forgiveness.
Can we bring more of that in our lives? Each and everyone of us has a role to play in creating a better world for our children, nieces, nephews or grandchildren. Let's get on with it.
2. Is that Success?
We are neither rich nor successful when death is up and close. We are a body and a soul, striving to say intact for some more. We are a husband, father, mother, wife, daughter or son. We are mentors, coaches, confidantes and friends. We are the life of every party. We are compassionate, enthusiastic, exuberant and sensitive. Let's reflect on the importance we give to money, image and the corporate ladder. Walker Percy wrote, “you can get all As and still flunk life”. Would we have flunked life at the end of our lives?
3. Can I Forgive?
We carry unforgiveness in our hearts for long forgotten incidents, sometimes for people we love dearly. Not only do we prevent a beautiful relationship from being a part of our life, the unsaid heaviness in our hearts poisons us relentlessly from within. Most of the time it’s our ego that wants to continue the drama. It would be so easy to let go with a mere "Sorry, let's move on" but we don't. We are also incredibly unforgiving of our own selves - for the mistakes we made a long time ago or whenever we have not known better. Looking at life from unforgiveness tinted glasses, towards us or others, is no fun. At the end moment of our life, I wonder if our grudges make it to the important list. Maybe we realize that the pedestal we held ourselves to didn’t really mean anything.
4. How can I be of Service?
When we serve, we align with the raw version of our self. The self we spend a lot of time and money awakening otherwise. We don’t have to open a charity or serve in one to be of service. Service can begin in our homes, our neighborhood and community. Due to the interconnectedness of mankind, a service done in our own backyard, heals the whole world. No service goes unnoticed in the tapestry of life and beyond.
5. What am I Called to Do?
We are all here to give something to the world. We are called for a higher purpose. But the thought agitates many as it challenges the status quo of our lives. We would rather be busy than divine. Our calling keeps nudging us (in ways that we are very aware of) but we ignore and banish it till the nudges fade. As we connect to the things that are fervently calling us, we honor the divinity of all life. People connected to their purpose are connected to an inner reservoir of calmness that touches each and every one they meet. It's not just about you or me, our connection to our calling impacts everything human touch point.
6. Am I Grateful?
We as humans are a privileged lot. For all our hardships of living in a world caught up in thoughts and emotions, we live amidst incredible beauty. Whether it is the mesmerizing sunrise every day or feeling the compassion and unconditional love of a mother - the rainbow is always there to notice and cherish when we are not caught up in a particular band of the spectrum. We feel what we feel because of our human form. And it may be a funny potpourri but it is undeniably interesting and if seen closely, pretty mind-blowing. We will forever not have enough to feed our ego, but what we have today is great and worth admiring. We get to live another day, to breath the air, to feel the breeze, for the sunlight to fall on our face and to love and be loved. How can we not say...thank you.