Come to the Party!
“Life is kind of like a party. You invite a lot of people, some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh at you, and some show up late. But in the end, after the fun, there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the time they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are your real friends. They are the ones who matter most.” This anonymous quote offers some good advice about friendship but does it only refer to the friendship of others or can we also use it internally in being a friend to one’s self?
James Baraz once wrote that “Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” Amit Ray describes it this way: “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”
This series is on mindfulness and how we can utilize what we know from our past and what we see in our present to construct a brighter future. It means accepting what has been, being aware of what is, and then create positive expectations about what might come.
Our life is a gift and our living is the party for that gift. We tend to think of parties as perfect moments in time but really, parties are a great deal of work, require both planning and clean-up, and guests are both a blessing and, sometimes, a trial. There is always someone a little too loud and every party and that person who tends to sit in a corner and just stare. Generally, parties are a great deal of fun and we think of them fondly because we see the big picture and do not spend our time nit-picking our memories looking for the negative.
When we approach our living as a party, we will do the planning (hopefully!) and there will be clean-up. Some days will be a little too much, like the loud party guest and other days will leave us feeling left out like the wallflower at a dance. What remains are life lessons and those people who travel the journey with us are our true friends. We need to make sure that we befriend ourselves as well. Too often people are mere acquaintances with their true self instead of close friend.
“In the end,’ according to Jack Kornfield, “just three things matter: How well we have lived; how well we have loved; how well we have learned to let go.” Mother Teresa offered this advice on living mindfully: ““Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”