“The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.”
(Young India, 22 October 1925)”
― Mahatma Gandhi
I read once that the soul yearns for a principled life. I agree wholeheartedly. The ego on the other hand wants something very different. My ego wants more of everything that I am already blessed with and it wants what everyone else has too. Each day as I rise, the battle of soul and ego ensues.
The Dalai Lama says that happiness is not a selfish thing. It is a gift we give ourselves, which in turn lights the way for others. I once confused happiness to mean that I would suffer as little as possible and be free to do what pleased me and give to those I love. I learned that he was speaking of lasting happiness, which is more about contentment and fulfillment that extends gifts beyond our knowledge and reach. I sweep the floor or wash the dishes and feel the cool air blow in from the window. I take the time to notice and enjoy that wonderful feeling of contentment. I buy the milk from the farmer who knows that it matters, for a million different reasons, that those cows are doing happy cow things. We spend more, drink less and appreciate what we have.
I have been saved from myself many times and forced to really hear my souls yearnings through my own suffering. I have had no other choice but to stop and listen to the principles that are sewn onto my heart. I can’t afford to please my ego much of the time, and those actions that are not in line with my principles now bring me great angst. It has sometimes felt like a curse, but I am now seeing it as my saving grace.I have now been given the gift of frequently being able to step into my true self; into my own courageous Denise shoes, with no apologies.That strength is not always there, but I do know that the amount of time I get being the real deal Denise seems to be growing in direct proportion to the gratitude in my life and the abundance of the garden outside my doors.