Day 290: A Transcendental Moment of Clarity

I will admit that for the longest time, I tried to run with the Joneses.  Maybe it is because I did not want for anything as a child, and I was proud that I had more than others.  Instead of feeling grateful, I felt entitled.  Instead of counting my blessings, I expected more.

When I finally became an adult and fell upon rough times, I was suddenly very aware of how others in my age group were moving ahead while I was moving backward.  Needlesstosay, even though I could not afford it, I was trying to keep up, like I was in some kind of race and I was lagging behind.  It was a great deal of pressure trying to figure out what was the perceived right way to live.  I would spend hours budgeting and re-budgeting trying to figure it all out.  Every time I knew I had it all worked out on paper, a major appliance would break, the car would need repair, or some part of the house would need care.  I sometimes got so upset that I felt that the universe was working against me.

Why me?  I’m a good person.  I’m educated.  I work hard at life.  I am not looking for a handout, I am just looking to get ahead.

I stopped and asked myself a very important question: What do I perceive as getting ahead?  What is it that I want out of my life: is it to feel success, significance, and importance? 

After some reflection, I realized I was basing all of my achievement off of material perception; I was measuring my prosperity against what those around me had and were doing.  Many of my friends have bigger houses, nicer cars, and take better vacations.  I thought I was falling short.  I will admit I felt envious, even covetous of what others had.

I knew it was not healthy.  I decided to stop and ignore the outside distractions and just be.  I took a deep breath.   I paused.  I had a transcendental moment, a moment of perfect clarity.  I need to focus on how I can feel fully vested and fulfilled in my own life.

I suddenly realized that material wealth  is not what fully satiates me.  I am glad I am not destitute and I have a way of providing a very comfortable life for my family and myself, but I decided it was time to focus on needs compared to wants.  My wants drive my envy.  In actuality, my needs are quite satisfied.  Thus, no matter if I ever move into a bigger house, no matter if I ever buy an expensive car, no matter if I ever shop at Tiffany’s, I am not defined by these items.

Even more important, when I die, how will I be remembered?  Will friends at my wake sneer at the car that I owned?  Will relatives scoff at the fact that I lived my entire adult-life in a house with one bathroom?  Will acquaintances roll my dead, lifeless body over to check the designer label of my funeral attire?  Of course not; they will remember me for the quality of my life.

I reevaluated how I perceived myself.  I have already achieved success, and I continue to strive to say something that matters, show kindness to others, and be strong in the face of adversity.   To be significant I continue to champion causes that bring about positive  change, and to accomplish this goal, I must always suck from the marrow of life.  Lastly, to feel important, I must constantly remember that my legacy will be the way people remember me, that I will impress more people with goodness than a bank roll, and that no matter what, whoever dies with the most toys doesn’t win because dead is dead, no matter what.

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4 thoughts on “Day 290: A Transcendental Moment of Clarity

  1. More people need to have a moment of clarity Cheryl! I will also add I strongly believe investing in experiences rather than material things is the way to go.

    P.S. I mentioned you in this post :).

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