Success Redefined

As the year quickly draws to an end, it’s only nat­ural to look back and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what would we like to see come out of the new year.

As I was reflect­ing on these top­ics over my cup-o-joe this morn­ing, I thought back to a con­ver­sa­tion I had with a psy­chic friend of mine about 12 years ago. He told me that my life would be a series of ups and downs, but by the time I reached 43 years old that I would finally have set­tled into what it was I was meant to do with my life, that I’d be extremely suc­cess­ful and happy.

Those words helped carry me through some pretty dark times over the last 12 years. I would think to myself, “though I may be suf­fer­ing now, there are much bet­ter times to come.”

As these last three years have been pass­ing, I’ve watched my life pass, detached as though watch­ing myself from out­side my own body. Each year worse and worse. Each time think­ing, “Damn, things can’t get any worse than they already are,” only to find that things kept get­ting worse.

Three years ago I was in a lov­ing, long-term rela­tion­ship and doing pretty darn well in all aspects of my life; own­ing a cou­ple of nice cars, a farm with 2 houses and run­ning four busi­nesses in Costa Rica to liv­ing alone and in severe poverty. By severe poverty I mean not hav­ing any money to buy food, pay rent or util­ity bills, etc.

The obvi­ous ques­tions I’ve been con­stantly ask­ing myself are, “Why did this hap­pen to me?” and “Is there a way out of this mess?” While study­ing for my mas­ters degree in Spir­i­tual Psy­chol­ogy I learned that the “why” doesn’t mat­ter. It’s all about how we treat our­selves and oth­ers as we’re going through painful and tough times. But let me tell ya, it ain’t easy!

So this morn­ing I found myself get­ting a lit­tle angry at my friend who told me that by now I would be on the right path, suc­cess­ful and happy. But as I reflected deeper on the sub­ject I had an “Ah ha!” moment. What is the def­i­n­i­tion of happy and successful?

I real­ized that instead of hav­ing tons of employ­ees and headaches and stress and a work­load with no end, that I am liv­ing a stress-free life now. I’m con­nect­ing with the peo­ple around me on a much deeper level. I’m expe­ri­enc­ing the gen­eros­ity of oth­ers instead of feel­ing I need to be the one “tak­ing care” of other people.

Instead of run­ning around stressed out all the time I’m actu­ally enjoy­ing being “in the moment.” I laugh a lot. And when I cry, it’s not because of what I don’t have or what I lost. When I cry it’s because I’m over­whelmed with the beauty of the peo­ple and the world around me.

So per­haps I don’t need to feel dis­ap­pointed because the des­tiny I was wait­ing for didn’t come to fruition. Instead I’m going to embrace the gifts that life has brought me and do my best to be kind to myself and others.

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