Reflections at Almost Fifty. What Serves Me Well?

Today I got to see the sunrise and what a beautiful sunrise it was. For me it was a moment of awe and though I don’t get to witness it each day it still happens. Note to self, see more sunsets!

It’s a good reminder for me that despite all that is unfolding in the world from a human perspective, nature continues.  Each day the sun will rise and set even if I don’t see it, the birds will sing even if I don’t hear them, flowers will blossom even if I don’t admire their beauty and for some life will ebb away without me being aware it even existed.

It is quite a simple system in some ways and incredibly complex in others but if left in peace, nature finds its own way and keeps moving forward. I have found this very comforting over the last few months. Being in nature costs nothing and when I take a few moments to become still, both physically and mentally, I can feel myself begin to quieten and release all the worries, fears and anger that can sometimes occupy more of my time than I would like. Better still it costs nothing and unless you are in a very unfortunate situation, wherever you are in the world, whoever you are, you can stop, look around and see something that may make your worries melt away, your heart sing and bring a smile to your face if just for that moment.

On the cusp of turning 50 I am taking stock of who I am, what I have become and what makes me happy so I can spend more of my remaining moments wisely. “Spend it wisely” was a joke I had with my nephew around money and whenever that phrase pops into my head now it brings a smile and a happy memory follows along.

There are 4 words that keep popping into my head that I am going to continue to keep in my awareness as they serve me well and provide a comfort and quietness to me when I bring them to mind. They are what I believe, my values and for the most part, a core part of who I am. They teach me lessons constantly and they keep my mind open. I don’t adhere to them all the time, I am human, but they give me a basis on which to move forward from and provide an anchor to ground me when the world around can seem full of anger, offense and frustration;

Equality

  • No one is better that I am and I am no better than anyone else
  • I should be able to have the same opportunity as anyone else and if I don’t experience that then I am going to look at fixing it. That is not to say I think life is fair, I know life is not fair. I may be happier than some and less talented at something than someone else but if I can still give that something a go then that seems fair to me
  • We are not all great at everything and if I don’t succeed in all that I try it does not mean I live in an unfair world; I just haven’t found what I am great at yet

Tolerance

  • I can have my own opinion but I also need to let others have theirs
  • Sometimes what I believe in will be what happens and sometimes it won’t, not everything turns out the way you want it but it doesn’t mean there is an injustice to be corrected
  • I can learn a lot if I look to understand what feelings and emotions come up when I don’t like what is happening around me. I ask myself “Is it driven from fear, a lack of understanding or from the intolerance of others?”
  • I don’t have any right to shut someone up just because I don’t like what they are saying and I am wary of someone who tries to shut me up and will not listen to what I have to say

Kindness

  • As often as I choose I am kind. Kind to those I know and those I don’t
  • Sometimes I am not kind and I am learning this is s signal for me to look at what is going on. Sometimes it is because I am not being heard, sometimes because I am feeling grumpy and I misdirect those feelings and sometimes it is because someone else is not being kind me and I am not a saint!

Gratitude

  • I focus on what I have got that I am grateful for and I acknowledge it often
  • I don’t feel bad about what I have got, who knows what is round the corner and just as I have no right to judge someone, no one has a right to judge what I have and certainly not without any knowledge of understanding what I went through to get it!
  • Dwelling less on what I don’t have makes me happier
  • Being ungrateful makes me feel sad
  • If I am safe and breathing there is plenty to be grateful for

If I take these with me into the next decade of my life and use nature as my anchor I think they will help keep me balanced in a world that seems full of anger and fear right now with a lot of people shouting to be heard, although about what I am not quite sure yet for it is often not what it first appears.

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