Yesterday night, I had a really lovely experience of feeling like a goddess. All my intelligence, strength, wisdom, curiosity, kindness, and inner and outer beauty enabled me to reflect compassion to someone in need of it, missing his adopted home and unsure of himself. He treated me like a goddess, with a flower offering he tucked behind my ear and offering me drinks in loud and raucous English speaking bars in Paris. After looking at me like I was magic, and taking my picture with the rose, he got the message I wasn’t interested romantically but still continued to treat me kindly, and I didn’t feel the need to flee home to avoid embarassment or putting myself in a delicate situation. This guy gave me a chance to feel my innate goodness, and to use my gifts and the wisdom of my experiences, if not to love and admire him in the way he wanted in the moment, at least to offer kindness and compassion.
I came home thinking about the great night I’d spent and the people I’d met, just wanting to find a way to share my joys and also the sameness I found among all the different life experiences and cultures I’d experienced in the space of a night. The people I met gave me more compassion for my family, far away, and for myself.
This morning, I realize that this is the meaning of life- to be the goddess of compassion in my own small way. I don’t have to write a life changing memoir and sell billions of copies, I don’t have to have a blog with millions of followers, I don’t have to become a CEO or even a director of marketing, I don’t even need to become a schoolteacher then, though I think eventually I’d like to do that- as well as all the other things, maybe.
A psychic suggested I’d change jobs in the next 18 months to 2 years and that business was clearly not my calling. He also said I’d have found someone by now.
The truth is that I don’t want to be a writer isolated in my turret, I want to be in the moment, living the life of the vast majority of people, at least for now. The reason I am not a teacher, yet, is to learn about the world outside of school and take the time to better understand myself. Also I don’t know what subject I want to teach, though perhaps it comes back to my psychologist’s observation of a very smart and accomplished man who was so humble she didn’t realize he was the convention’s keynote speaker and always made the people around him feel better.
She suggested maybe having meaning and purpose didn’t have to be any grander than that.
I’ve felt in the past few years that kindness and wanting to save the world are just a cop out, since fixing the world, if it’s even possible, would require a fair bit of brain power as wel as material power, and wanting to save the world is just what lost people do when they aren’t sure how to save themselves.
But maybe kindness and compassion are all we are here for, and the world is basically good, and we don’t need to build empires or social businesses or write bestsellers. Maybe all we have to do is live, not seeking great experiences, but allowing ourselves to find them through grace, and to reflect back all the beauty we’ve witnessed.
I wrote earlier on this blog that I wanted to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. Maybe, given the basic goodness of ourselves and the world of miracles we inhabit, all we have to do is offer compassion.
Maybe that’s the reason I’ve lot control and gone off the deep end, lost my will, lost my self control, had my ego broke up a bit, went to the other side of the ocean, and all of it.
Not Paris, not an MBA, not even a bestseller will ever come close to the feeling of really having done something good in the moment like offer compassion to a being in need of it.
And all beings need it.
Voila the meaning of life.