Way back in 2003, my best friend Mary Kathryn gave me this scroll with a"true meaning of life" quote by H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama.
It says: "We are visitors on this planet. We are here for one hundred years at the very most. During that period we must try to do something good, something useful, with our lives. if you contribute to other people's happiness, you will find the true meaning of life."
It currently hangs on the wall in my kitchen where I can see it every morning when I brew my coffee and every evening when I take my vitamins. I read it at least once a day, and it gives me perspective on how I spend my time.
I've experienced setbacks in the journey to find my own meaning and the right place for me. I've had great joy and inspiration, but also have had to deal with having tiny little bubbles of hope burst unexpectedly. And not only does it sting, but it also makes me question my own judgment. One of the ways I try NOT to deal with that is to be hard on myself, but like most people, I seek blame internally. I find myself asking what I did wrong, what I didn't do right, how could I have screwed up so badly, and worse: whats wrong with me. Spend enough time inside your head being so critical, and that voice just gets louder.
Separating yourself from that internal criticism, reaching out to someone else who needs a boost more than you do, contributing to the happiness of others, and putting the brakes on wondering what's wrong can give you a different outlook on what's right. I'm not always great at doing it, but having little reminders like this one helps. And having it because it was given to me by a dear friend who understands me well enough to know that I need that reminder? Priceless.