Friday, February 3, 2012

Letting go

Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day. Dalai Lama

A very belated and very happy New Year to all of you out there. This is a time of changes and new beginnings, as people have made new commitments to positive change and personal growth in 2012. Whether it's a new year, a new chapter in life, a new job, a new relationship, or a new day, the time is right to make a positive change for personal growth.

I recently posted the above quote to my Facebook page, (by the way, please "like" my page if you haven't already : and the weight of the quote didn't really hit me until a couple of days later. I had been talking with a friend about my need to make every interaction meaningful, and now this level of intensity can be uncomfortable for most people. This need for meaningfulness in my daily life also makes me appear to be super serious and high-strung. Though I don't deny that these facets of my personality appear when I'm at my worst, I'm actually very laid-back, or at least like to think so.

This urgency to eliminate superficialness from my life manifested itself during my cancer diagnosis at the end of 2006. My diagnosis is another topic that I have avoided since beginning this blog that I hope to touch on at a later date. At any rate, finally becoming aware of my own mortality changed me.

However we don't have control over other people or most of our circumstances; we only have control over our own actions and reactions to the things around us. Thus the reason I think the above quote hit me so hard. Though not a Buddhist myself, I am a fan of the tenets of the religion, most importantly how our suffering is manifested from our attachments. We will all experience loss in our lives, from the death of a loved one to the slow dissolution of a once very close friendship. For peace of mind and even personal happiness, we have to accept this as inevitable. Thus why it's so important to live each day in the present, and make the interactions in our important relationships count. Like the Dalai Lama says, our relationships with others are like the is up to us to make each of them count while we are blessed with the fleeting opportunity of experiencing them.