Today, after the long journey of renovating Charl’s kitchen, he finally had his new washing machine and tumble drier delivered. I was so excited to help him unpack his new, shiny appliances. But the hole for the washing machine’s pipe wasn’t big enough, so he called his dad who brought a drill and then promptly helped him unwrap the new machines. Oh, I was good enough to go to the hardware store for them to get circular saw drill bits, but not to help with the unpacking because no more than 2 people can fit in the kitchen with a big box anyway. That’s no big deal, but I felt so depressed in that moment, thinking that that’s the closest I would ever get to new, shiny appliances, at this rate… and then even that was taken from me. I was so sad I almost started to cry and sat in the lounge waiting for them to finish so that I didn’t have to reveal how bad I felt. Like such a failure.
I sat thinking about it for a while and then I was even more disgusted with myself for thinking like that. How is it that we become programmed to think that to have “stuff” makes us successful??? (Yes, it’s bad grammar, but three question marks are necessary for emphasis. I’m tempted to add some exclamation marks for good measure too). I am blessed to live vicariously through Charl, but at the same time it makes me sad, as an emphasis just of all the things I don’t have. Today he even remarked on the need to buy me some new clothes. I know. And I understand that it is good intentions that motivated his comment. But it made me so heartsore. I am so much more than what I have or don’t have. I am not defined by the things I aspire to have or the enjoyment of technology, fine appliances, gadgets and NICE cars. I am 30 and I am on the path of enlightenment. I gave up having an ordinary family, an ordinary career. I don’t have fancy things. I don’t even have things that most people take for granted (have you ever envisioned your home without a TV?). I am not happy, because I am in a struggle to reach for something bigger and better than myself and I understand that although getting there isn’t a punishment and is something I will probably never attain to in this lifetime, realising our ignorance is greater success than owning mansions and being able to buy whatever we want, when we want. True success is finding joy in what you have and in yourself, searching for a harmonious existence with God and all that’s good in the world. And taking the bad times and using them to reinforce the strength of your soul as the body and the ego is broken down.
Someone once said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. I am trying. Some days it really gets me down, but in the end, peace and joy of heart and mind prevails. Thanks be to God, who is the strength of my soul and the joy of my heart.