How do we make sense of the world? Where does meaning come from?
What are trials and tribulations? What are those memories of life you most cherish? Oddly for me, they are often those things suffered through. Especially those where I entered into a deep darkness, and finally after many trials and tribulations, find myself in a breaking dawn of bright sunshine, green grass, and the fresh smell of spring.
We practice those things we care about doing well, or those things we think are important. And practice is often frustrating, can even be discouraging.
Practice is suffering under control. It is pain with a purpose. It is the legitimate suffering neurotics avoid.
When we hang onto our practice through thick and thin, we become aware of our own perseverance, of our power to endure, and of the value of our goal.
The longer we endure, the longer it takes to reach, the more meaningful it becomes; and the more meaningful our life becomes.
On the other hand if we say something is important to us, yet we don’t practice it, in what way is it important? Anything important takes time, and the way we spend that time is the way we practice. No time means no practice. No practice means no importance.
What am I saying here? This is where journaling can help. Take a moment to step back. What are you practicing? How are you spending your time? What is important to you? Are they in alignment? If not how can you bring them into alignment?
I think a midlife crisis often comes of practicing things that don’t matter, to acquire things that don’t last, to put points on a scoreboard that doesn’t count.
But the practice itself will have taught you the discipline, the persistence, the faith, and hope necessary to change the pursuit of success into the pursuit of significance.