One of the secrets of a long and healthy life is this:
You can derive a great deal of strength and courage from identifying and affirming your purpose – especially when things are not going well. When you’re off-purpose you feel stressed, listless and empty inside.
Your major aim, of course, is to find happiness and peace of mind, and the only place to find them is within yourself. Ther’s a common theme to most people’s ultimate source of happiness and contentment:
Love and service!
Maurice Tester wrote:
‘There are two ingredients essential to the full life. Every great philosopher has reached the same conclusion. You may disguise them under different labels. You may decide what I write is trite or banal. But the indisputable facts are that no-one can live a full life without the magic ingredients of love and service.’
You simply cannot fulfill yourself without being of service to others. Everything and everyone exists to serve something else, that’s the circle of life. The inability or unwillingness to serve others produces a profound emptiness inside.
Fulfillment comes from helping others with no thought of return for yourself. We are constantly giving and receiving energy from each other, and if we don’t play our part, we stagnate and die. Every time you give to others, you receive in return and you feel better too.
But there is an exception:
If you give only because you’re looking to receive in return, you will be disappointed. If you give with a consciousness of selfishness and greed, all you’ll get back from others is their selfishness and greed.
Get your mind off ‘What’s in it for me?’ and ask instead, ‘What can I do for you?’ Practise spontaneous acts of kindness. Look for ways to help others. Even your happiness is a gift to the world if you share it.
A famous Buddhist painting has two scenes depicting heaven and hell. One shows people sitting at a magnificent banquet holding spoons with handles so long they can never reach their mouths. This is hell. The other scene shows people sitting at the same banquet using the same long-handled spoons – but they are feeding each other. This is heaven.
There is an old Sanskrit greeting – ‘namaste’ (na-mast-ay) – which means ‘I recognise the place in which you and I are one’. Namaste:
- Reminds us that we are one and there is no separation.
- Teaches us that if we cannot recognise the divinity in others, we fail to recognise it in ourselves.
- Encourages us to look for the beauty in everyone we meet, overlooking the shortcomings of the personality.
- Instructs us to approach everyone with an attitude of love and acceptance, then anxiety and suspicion melt away.
‘One thing I know;’ said Dr Albert Schweitzer, ‘those who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.’ Our purpose is to find and give this expression.
©David Lawrence Preston, 16.7.2016
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter, @Feelinggoodatt