There is a particular point in time where you realise that life is not all about you. Well in most cases. Some people stay stuck in that developmental stage where they can not share toys, and any attempt to tell them “no” results in a screaming kicking tantrum, sprawling all over the floor. Some people believe the earth does not revolve around the sun, but rather revolves around them. They believe their needs, their moments, far outweigh those experienced by their fellow humans or other creatures. They believe their actions do not have consequences, and that life is mostly about them feeling good and achieving as much power as possible.
For most of us there is a time when you start to see all of our lives are interconnected, and that the decisions you make affect others. You might not know exactly when that happened. It can just be part of your growing, part of where you came from. But noticing this is important. Knowing that you can make positive choices brings great power and responsibility. It can both increase and reduce the pressure on you to be someone, or get somewhere, wherever that somewhere is. One thing is certain – we all end up in the same place. If you have ever spent time with someone at the end of their life, you see that what they did or didn’t do in their life, falls away. There is just the mindfulness of noticing their skin, their scent, their body gently holding all of their experiences and memories. There are just the last moments to feel the warmth of them and listen to the thoughts still weaving in and out of their brain. And then they are gone.
The ultimate goal of “happiness” is hard to capture, and there is no one definition of what happiness means. I believe in part it is the peace of arriving at an understanding of the duality that your life is a combination of being both completely insignificant, and completely significant. You are just a speck of star dust floating around with all the millions of other specks, but together these specks make up a universe. When you arrive at this point, you can start to become more mindful about your daily activities. You can choose well. You can make choices that impact positively on your life, other people and our planet. You can lift others up while you rise. You can take small or enormous steps, and understand that all of these steps might not matter, but all of these steps might matter an enormous amount. Tiny pieces of matter together.