Becoming Wiser for Yourself & the World: Reading Tea Leaves Part III
Who doesn’t have a few regrets as they grow older? I know I do. It is so easy, in my forties, to look back at things in my life that could have been approached differently years or even decades ago. Some things, had they been approached or reacted to differently, would have certainly saved me money. More importantly, others would have saved me a lot of emotional and mental anguish.
But growing older is hopefully about growing wiser, not more bitter. So we learn from our mistakes, and we move on and try to grow so that we become smarter, more efficient, more spiritually attuned, and happier.
Over the past month and a half I’ve been reflecting on little pieces of wisdom that I’ve collected over the years from the sayings printed on Yogi brand tea packages, and in this post I continue to explore a few of those teatime ideas. The truth is, we can find inspiration and guidance almost anywhere if we are looking (just as we can find God everywhere if we are so inclined), so please continue to “seek and find” in your own life. And perhaps the following ideas will help you along the way.
“Love has no boundary.”
I tend to see this as a command to steer ourselves away from nitpicking, judgement, and control in our personal lives. If you’re married, as I have been for many years, then perhaps you know what I’m talking about. The love in such a romantic relationship must be unconditional.
But this idea can easily apply to the other relationships in life as well: parents, sons and daughters, siblings, and friends.
We can easily fall into the trap of drawing “boundaries” on our love and thinking: ‘I’ll love this person ‘unconditionally’ if they do the things I want them to do, or if they look the way, act the way, talk the way, or think the way I want them to.” And then, when people fall outside of our boundaries, arguments and a certain “withholding of love” can occur. Resentments and distance are bred.
But true love is truly unconditional, not just conveniently so. That is a divine idea, and another divine idea is to forgive others without limit, even if they have hurt us (or simply frustrated us) multiple times.
Love has no boundary. So forgive, open your heart, and appreciate all of the unique gifts that your loved ones bring into your life to make it richer than you could ever make it alone.
“Listen and you will develop intuition.”
Some of the greatest mistakes in my life have been occurred when I have gone against my intuition, my gut, my inner compass. It’s okay to ask for advice and opinions from others, but first off make sure that those others have your best interests at heart. And then always remember to consult yourself before moving forward.
Get practiced at listening to your inner voice so that you can begin to trust yourself more and react more instinctively with regards to your future. This allows you to navigate decisions more wisely, more quickly, and with more confidence.
“The art of happiness is to serve all.”
Contributing to a better quality of life for those we encounter in this world is a requirement to feeling fulfilled and satisfied. Whether we are building homes for others, counseling them, writing books for them, fixing their cars, or helping them with their taxes, our work simply must have a “service” component to feel good. But two words of caution here. First, there are people out there who use this idea to justify their own self-serving power trips (think some politicians and wealthy business owners), so sincerity is necessary.
Also, we must all set limits. We must all restrict access at times. We must do this to avoid burnout and to avoid being used. People can and will take advantage of kindness, so we must use common sense when deciding how and when to act out our service ideals.
That being said, serve others and you will find your happiness as well.
“Life is a flow of love; your participation is requested.”
I think the main idea that I’ve taken from the above saying is that we all have a part to play in this life. In addition to giving the world your compassion and kindness, what ideas do you have to offer? Ideas of the right variety are a way of expressing love, and giving your productive ideas to the world is participating in its forward flow and contributing to its health.
There are good intentions and bad intentions out there. There are selfish ideas and useful ideas. As a hip-hop song I enjoy says, “There’s nothing wrong with ambition if it does the world good.”
How can you intertwine your ambition, your heart, and your desire to serve others? How can you improve your life and also leave this world a better place than when you found it?
“Use your head to live with your heart.”
I’ve always been somewhat of a romantic soul, an individual whose actions are driven by spiritual pulls, grand dreaming, and the strong intoxication of emotions. And while that has served me well in some respects, there have been other times in my life where it has come back to bite me. There have been times when I haven’t planned well enough or paid enough attention to bottom lines and daily regimens. There have been times when I thought that heart was all that was required—not careful architecture, prudence, financial acumen, preventative care, or even common sense.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve increasingly worked to meld together my heart and my head, my emotion and my intellect, my romance and my discipline. Because if I can work smarter rather than harder, and if I can cease to sabotage myself or leave things up to chance, then I can find increased freedom to truly follow my heart and share that heart with others.
Be romantic, but be sensible, too. Use your smarts and your discipline to make all of the dreams of your heart come true.
Michael Priebe is a writer and personal development coach who has studied psychology, literature, and print journalism. He holds a journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated with honors. and over the years he has used both fiction and nonfiction formats to write about health, sports, professional life, politics, relationships, and spiritual issues. He puts out a variety of spiritually inspiring content at The Lovely Grind, and he blogs about his life at www.michaelpriebewriter.com. He invites you to find out more about his life coaching here, and he hopes you'll reach out to him on Facebook and Twitter.
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