Success or Excess

Written on July 24, 2016. 

There’s been something that’s growing inside of me lately, like a tiny pebble in my shoe; something that isn’t terribly uncomfortable, only slightly annoying, until I realize that I can’t walk without pain. The sensation has been festering, nesting inside of me and today it popped its head out to say hello and have some conversations. 

The sensations that I’ve been feeling lately, mostly emotional ones, seem to be related to success and money, the (literal) gold of our society. I don’t know about your life, but I was raised to believe that being successful meant having a well paying (though not necessarily excessive) career with benefits, enough savings to go on vacations, and a nice retirement fund. My parents also helped me learn the values of being a kind person, serving others, and standing up for those that couldn’t stand up for themselves; a good middle-class upbringing, I’d say, one which I am forever thankful for. I strongly believe that every where I’ve been in my life has been no less than perfect, no “bad” stones on my path, each one necessary to keep me moving along and my childhood caries the same essential weight of my adult life, thus far. 

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I realize now though, as I am moving into alignment with my true self more with each passing month, that while the values that I was taught have served me well, my own ideas about success are vastly different than my parent’s (and probably most of society). I don’t feel the need to go into detail about my values (although I’m happy to discuss with you if you’re curious), but I do know that the sensations and slight anxiety that I’ve been feeling lately are because I am continuing to move into my own truth and to stand tall and strong in it. Whenever I feel unhappy and I trace it back to success, I realize that I’m feeling icky because someone else’s idea of success isn’t in alignment with my own and THAT IS JUST FINE. The capital letters are for me, not you, so sorry if they seem harsh, but I need some serious reminders that just because I am not living up to someone else’s idea of success, doesn’t mean that I am not successful. When I am living from my heart, following my own Journey, I am at peace. It’s only when my mind decides to take a field trip from the fields of contentment to the noisy city of comparisons that I feel like perhaps I should “be doing more with my life”. While we’re all together in this strange cosmic journey, we are very much allowed to be individuals. Each one of us is an integral piece to this puzzle and if we’re all trying to be the same shape, then the puzzle will never complete itself. So, my values may look different than yours, but my journey is just as important/not important than anyone else’s. 

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