All too often, we believe that in order to live a truly fulfilling life we must achieve some great act or grand feat that will put us on the front covers of magazines and newspapers.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
A meaningful life is made up of a series of daily acts of decency and kindness, which, ironically, add up to something truly great over the course of a lifetime.
On his deathbed, Aldous Huxley reflected on his entire life's learning and then summed it up in seven simple words: "Let us be kinder to one another."
Everyone who enters your life has a lesson to teach and a story to tell. Every person you pass during the moments that make up your days represents an opportunity to show a little more of the compassion and courtesy that define your humanity. Why not start being more of the person you truly are during your days and doing what you can to enrich the world around you? In my mind, if you make even one person smile during your day or brighten the mood of even one stranger, your day has been a worthwhile one.
Our deepest core is our true essence, and it is in no way separable from the essence of the Universe. When we peel back the layers--the layers of negative beliefs, distractions, fears, and so on--we can actually reach this core essence and rest in it, naturally and effortlessly radiating energies of love, compassion, and healing.
Kindness, quite simply, is the rent we must pay for the space we occupy on this planet. It is part of our essence. Become more creative in the ways you show compassion to strangers. Paying the toll for the person in the car behind you, offering your seat on the subway to someone in need and being the first to say hello are great places to start.
The deeper we go, the more layers we peel, the more access we have to our true essence, and the more genuine our affirmations can be—for this essence is simply pure openness and love, which is the true essence of positive affirmation. Often, and especially in moments of crisis, we can become more genuine to ourselves, and to our experience of existence—and this is the true opportunity presented by crisis. If we keep going deeper, and have the right guidance, we can start peeling into the depth of our experience, peeling back the layers that obstruct our essence.