Having it all is not just about wonderful relationships with a cache of people (family, friends, professional colleagues and acquaintances). It is not only about material possessions and financial assets. It is much more than stellar qualifications, a good reputation, wide-ranging personal and professional experience and actual or perceived influence. Some people seem to have it all - the love and support of friends and family, material possessions, educational achievement, professional success and accolades and the financial resources that afford them every luxury available. Others, convinced that they can never have it all, live lives of quiet desperation. They dismiss the common things. They despair in adversity. They resent simple everyday tasks. They love half-heartedly. They dilute compassion with judgement. They hold on to bitterness. Whether or not you think you have it all, the following list offers six ingredients to add to the mix of what constitutes a life of having it all. They will help to make your life richer, fuller and more meaningful.
Wonder at the common things.
It is easy to get accustomed to the common things in our days and in our lives. Looking at them in a new way, even with wide-eyed wonder can lift them to new heights of significance and render our days wonderful, if not miraculous.
Peace in turbulent times.
When the storms of life hit and hit hard, we are hard-pressed to stay hopeful while it wreaks havoc with our optimism, our possessions, our relationships, our goals, our dreams.... However, if we maintain our calm and trust God for wisdom, grace and strength to endure, we will undoubtedly experience a peace that will pull us through.
Joy in the simplest tasks.
There is joy in doing - however simple the task. However, with the push and rush of daily life, we often overlook and eventually forget the joy that lives in the simplest tasks we perform for ourselves, for others and on our jobs. When we take the time to analyze the simple tasks we perform every day, we will experience the joy inherent in performing them mindfully and to the best of our ability.
Just one person loving us for ourselves, loving us in spite of our inabilities, shortcomings and mistakes is enough to fill our days with purpose and contentment. Likewise, when we love unconditionally, we enhance our relationships and inspire our loved ones to see beyond the minor irritations that tend to eat away at love.
Compassion without judgement. When we feel the pull to show compassion, and throw judgement in the mix, our efforts fall short and we accomplish less than our initial intention. Whatever the backstory, it is of little importance at the point of someone’s need. Our hearts expand when we show compassion without judgement, especially when our actions help to set someone on a path of independence, if it is possible.
Knowing that the people we love the most are willing to forgive us for our errors frees our hearts from on-going worry and guilt. Moreover, our willingness to forgive others without the bitter tinge of resentment saves us from the emotional cancer that destroys all areas of our lives. Each person’s list of what constitutes “having it all” will feature different things. What’s on your lists? Does it include the practice of wonder at common things, peace in turbulent times, joy in simple tasks, unconditional love, non-judgemental compassion and genuine forgiveness? Can we have it all? Yes we can - all of what truly matters to live lives that are rich, full, purposeful and passionate.