To love is to recognize yourself in another. ~ Eckhart Tolle
This quote touches on a deep philosophical note that perhaps evident to our lesser technologically advanced ancestors is unfathomable to us. Ideas of ‘match made in heaven,’ ‘soulmate,’ ‘the other half’ all stem from this concept, of finding a mirror that completes the awareness loop. While there will be many that shout down the vanity of a mirror, the ability to honestly see oneself is anything but vain.
How else does one take out the plank from one’s eye as Jesus suggested we do? How else do we humble ourselves if we cannot see the fault that we point out in others in ourselves? It is often the ugly who criticize the beauty in others, the most sinful who point out the weaknesses in everyone. A little mirror in today’s society would go a long way, and no taking selfies with filters don’t count.
The mirror of a relationship is what is most needed, for it is in our dealings with those in our proximity that genuinely tells us who we are. The yogi who can twist himself into a pretzel does he loathe those who do not agree with his views? The great motivational speaker who talks about striving for excellence is she rude to her competition? The great leader of a nation, does he build on the bones of his opposition?
If you are the most successful business person but have failing relationships with your family, are you truly successful? If you live to be a hundred but can’t even count the happiest moments of your life at your fingertips, have you truly lived?
If I tell you of a simple farmer, with nothing much to boast of financially but is surrounded with family and friends who love and respect him, will you be impressed? Who has lived a life of great turmoil, pain, and suffering but enjoyed such moments of pure joy and bliss that he does not recollect those moments of anguish. Instead, he is filled with gratitude for his life; wisdom reeks from his every spoken word and especially in his silence. He laughs with his belly, sings with his soul, and loves with all his heart, is he successful?
The most miserable people on the planet are the ones we deem most successful or iconic. Behind their flashy cars, fancy homes, veneer smiles, and cliched lifestyle; hides the ugly reality of insecurities, betrayal, and unhappiness. Past trauma is often the driving force of the successful, but people still prefer to be rich and miserable than happy and broke.
Sadguru made an interesting comment that struck me as enlightening. He says the inequality of the sexes stems from the importance placed on the economy. The breadwinner was regaled as superior because of it, before that the duties of the homemaker was always regarded as vital for society.
This echoes the wisdom of the ancients who often told us to steer clear of our desire for wealth and riches. Jesus talked of how the love of money is the root of all evil. However, today in our money-driven world even good deeds are impossible without the grease of prosperity. A natural phenomenon like birth requires finances and yes before you die you better pay for that too.
So how do we live? To relinquish all pursuit and even the need for money is foolhardy in this world as our very survival depends on it. Even our integrity is measured by our ability to sustain ourselves, but we can stop making it the focus of our lives. We can stop using it as a measure of success and we can stop making allowances on account of it. We can start by making happiness our aim and peace, our nature. We can start by treating stress like an anomaly and not a standard to live by. We can stop managing our problems and start eliminating them.
We can start by taking a deep breath in and living every moment in gratitude and love, they don’t cost anything. We all have 24 hours in a day but there is no guarantee that we will live to see it through so let’s live every moment knowing that the next one might not come. Not by jumping off a cliff, you can if you want to, but by letting, the ones closest to us know how much we love them and appreciate them.
Lastly but most importantly to look into the mirror and tell ourselves how much we love ourselves. Be thankful for the gift of life and the journey we have been on and make a promise to live to the fullest, forever more.