A More Abundant Life; part 4 of 7. Monday May 19, 2014
Not many people would own up to 'Excretion' being their favourite of the seven signs of life! I'm sure Freud would have something to say to me. I, however, think it is the most important part of my message. (And as a quick reminder the seven signs are: movement, nutrition, reproduction, excretion, growth, respiration, and sensitivity. ALL 7 have to be present and developed for someone to be enjoying a life to the full.)
Why do I think this is the most important part of the message? Simply because it reveals the greatest lie sold to humankind: that life is meant to be perfect and free from hardships. This well-marketed delusion is responsible for more unhappiness that anyone can imagine. If we believe life is supposed to be wonderful, every disappointment damages that unsustainable belief.
Nature is not perfect. In fact, there's not a ton of happiness in Nature. Nature is red in tooth and claw. And if you've stopped reading thinking this is a real downer today, read on because what I've got for you is really happiness producing good news!
Why is this good news? Well, only a belief that is true can serve us and lead to contentment. And this is the truth: life is difficult. It always has been. It always will be. The post-war euphoria led to an expectation that society would always be improving – financially, socially, politically. Whole societies developed a sense of dependency and entitlement that doesn't match up to reality. Once we understand that 'excretion' – 'waste' – is a vital part of life, we can stop fighting it as if it is morally wrong, and we can start getting rid of it or recycling it! To put it indelicately but accurately, "Sh** Happens!"
Knowing that everyone faces waste, setbacks and disappointments frees us up from thinking we've done something wrong or that there is something wrong with the World. The art of living life to the full is learning how to deal with this seemingly unnecessary 'waste'. In a phrase, we need to learn from it and earn from it. Every setback needs to be purposefully used as the fertiliser for new growth.
Simple to say, very challenging to do, which is why I think this is a vital focus for becoming mature.
Helen Keller put it far more eloquently, "A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships." Let us bend whatever happens to us to our advantage – and make it serve our purpose.
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