Don’t make kindness a business transaction. Be kind always, every chance you get.
Just over a week ago someone who meant the world to me passed from this this life, and as that precious soul continues on a blessed journey of experience, I find myself ruminating on the fact that I hadn’t seen him in the past three years, and ruminating on the regret I feel at that. Because it didn’t have to be that way. I made my choices – and my excuses right along with them – but I loved this man and I know that he loved me. A great man. A great spiritual teacher. And I won’t see him again in this lifetime. That’s a bird that’s flown.
We so often take things for granted and think that opportunities will be with us forever. But creation, existence, is constantly evolving and what is true right now won’t necessarily be true in the future. Looking back and regretting what we didn’t do takes control of our present moment, distracts us from being and living our true-selves. So a world with no guarantees requires us to make the best of the precious little time we have left.
There are things we can hold in mind to keep us from needing to meditate on regret, and the man whose soul so recently departed would appreciate this, I know. First of all, we should remind ourselves daily that the opportunity to do anything can only ever be found in the present. Don’t spend all day looking at your watch waiting for 5 o’clock to come. Don’t wait all week for Friday to arrive. Don’t wait all year for next year, when things are going to be different. Don’t wait all your life for happiness. Life is too short and the clock is ticking. Don’t wait until your life is nearly done to realize that it was wonderful and that you never enjoyed much of it while it was actually happening. Become aware of yourself in this present moment. What you do right now is what matters, not what you did, what you didn’t do, what you said, what you didn’t say – or yesterday at all.
Your entire life can be customized from day to day. There are hundreds of people in every town on Earth who live their entire lives doing what they always do, what everyone else does, never seeing they can customize the whole thing. Don’t be one of those people, don’t settle for what you’ve thought must always be the way. Seek out your loves, your talents, your passions, and make them yours. Bring them fully into your life. Don’t get tied down by what others say you must do. Don’t let anyone tell you what is good for you, what you want or what you are capable of achieving. Explore the unknown! Test the limits!
You should design your life’s journey so that every step you take is your step, following your path. The life you create from doing something that stirs your spirit is a giant step removed from the life you get from sitting around wishing you were doing that very something.
Understand that it can take some effort, but it only seems like effort when you’re looking at it from where you are now. When you are living your dream or working towards living your dream, it won’t seem like hard work at all. Want your dream job? – go after it. Prepare for it. Want a dream relationship, be ready to work to get it, and work at it to keep it. If you want to be happy, be ready to learn what you need to learn about yourself and what would be unending joy for you, and embrace that. And as happiness comes to you, be prepared to give back without expecting anything in return and see how that feels. It’s not just about wanting then having then showing it all off. Trust me, that giving thing – it’s a true life-changer for you and you’ll only understand that by experiencing it.
Accept the discomforts and challenges that will fall in your way and as you accept them, learn to embrace them – often they will provide the answers you need to overcome them that way. The best things are sometimes hard to come by, at least initially, so if you resist the discomfort that working though obstacles entails, you could completely miss out on the good stuff. Building a business is a tough gig. Writing a book is tough. Maintaining a healthy happy relationship has its tough moments. Being a great friend can be challenging. Keeping healthy and fit is tough. It takes effort and sometimes pain. But all these things, and all the stuff that floats your boat are worth all the effort you can manage. The results turn out to change your life in such a positive way.
Don’t make kindness a business transaction. Be kind always, every chance you get. The small things count as much as the big things. Smiling your thanks to someone can make a big difference in that person’s day. Giving a helping hand to someone who can’t return the favour is its own reward. I promise you, that’s the truth. Just give help where you see that help is needed and where you can provide it and at the same time keep in mind that you will be disappointed if you expect people to treat you the same way. Not everyone is on the path to their own happiness the way you are. Kindness can and should be the foundation for your progress towards your dream life and your own happiness. And being truly kind in word thought and deed is how you’ll be seen and remembered. How’s that for a legacy?
In the end, nothing lasts. Creation is motion and everyday moves the world on in a connected dance of infinite beauty. Your world included. So be happy with change, and don’t mourn loss. We all lose things we thought we’d have forever, things or people or circumstances that we believed were meant to be ours, and ours forever. We all lose a loved one along the way, we lose things we thought we couldn’t live without or have to accept that what we thought was meant to be doesn’t materialise. But as one door closes, others open and we can only embrace the opportunities lying beyond these newly opening doors if we’re not living in the past of regret but living in awareness of the present moment. And we shouldn’t fear these new opportunities, we should grab hold of them and explore where they take us. An unknown country with a job, a business opportunity, a relationship? Wow, how can that not be exciting?
Just say the words you want to say to your loved ones today – you may not have tomorrow. Travel to that exciting destination. Go after the new career. Take the first steps to starting that business. Ask that gorgeous guy or girl out. Make sure the people that mean so much to you know it. Making these easy changes in how you perceive the world will change your life in a million positive ways.
Regret is a distraction from success and happiness. Make the changes in your thinking that lead to changes in your living and eliminate regret. You won’t regret it.
Love and Peace Sandy Khara