Monday, December 9, 2019

What is the good life?

The compelling question of my life began when I was nine of ten years old. I don't know where it came from but I found myself muttering, "It can be a good life if you know how to live it," which said another way is "What is the good life?"

I think I have been philosophical since I was a little boy.

For a while I though it was God and my Catholicism which would give me the answer but by age 19 I knew that was not true. I asked too many questions and the priests would get frustrated with them and say, "Well, David, it is a mystery," or "You have to take that on faith." I decided at 19 that there were too many "mysteries" and required too much "faith" so I found a woman I loved, got married at 20 and had nine kids.

At 22 I found the profession of Psychiatric Social Work and I have been pondering the question of what is the good life ever sense not only personally but professionally with clients and colleagues. At the age of 73 I have finally found the answer and its one that few people would understand. 

The answer is "forgiveness" which means being willing to give up making other people and things responsible for my unhappiness. So, I see my life now as full of forgiveness opportunities. Whenever I find myself fearful, guilty, angry, resentful, I remind myself with the help of the Holy Spirit that I am not a victim, but the beloved child of God and that making other people and things responsible for my unhappiness is a mistake. I have the power to choose and I choose to be more aware of Love's presence in my life which I can do if I give up the misguided notion that things external to me in the world of the ego are going to do that for me.

This forgiveness has brought a great peace in my life and as my life nears the end, I am grateful that I have finally come to figure this out. I have also figured out that it is not how much you know that makes a difference but how much you love. We need not think alike to love alike and as the Beatles sang, "Love is all you need."

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