As I mentioned in my last post, this trip to Ireland has turned out to be a great chance to reflect on my life. I’ve been thinking about the things that are important to me. I came up with these 10 commandments for living:
1. I need to develop enthusiasm for both the ups and the downs of life. A full life includes both of these and most suffering occurs when I resist this reality.
2. I’m committed to thinking more about other people – self absorption is the cause of so much of my suffering.
3. I refuse to allow worry to take over my thinking. There is no benefit to worry, and it just makes me less effective when something bad does happen. Some of the worst things that happen occur without any real warning, and most worry is all about fighting windmills (getting mentally messed up over things that aren’t real).
4. I’m committed to holding onto all beliefs and opinions lightly because life is a mystery. I’ve concluded that nobody really knows what’s going on and even if they do I’ve no way of judging their claims. It is the underlying mystery of life that makes the universe so wonderful. Doubt is a great gift because it keeps me humble and in awe.
5. I fully acknowledge that I do not know what is best for other people. I appreciate that we are all on our own path, and I don’t need other people to be wrong for me to be right. I do not need to change other people in order for me to be content and at peace.
6. The core of my belief system is that anything is possible. This means that I believe in magic and by doing so live in a magical world.
7. The ups and downs of living are to be expected, but when suffering persists it is usually sign that I’ve gone off the rails. This means that steps will need to be taken for me to get back on track, or I can look forward to an indefinite bumpy ride. Long periods of inner peace is the sign that I’m on the right track in life.
8. Positive thinking is a powerful tool, but it can be used in a destructive manner. If I refuse to acknowledge my worries and concerns it means that positive thinking becomes a form of denial. The key then is to be committed to positive thinking while acknowledging worries and concerns.
9. I am not broken, and I do not need to be fixed. The belief that there is something wrong with me that needs to be fixed is the cause of much of my uneasiness in life. There is always room for improvement, but I’m already acceptable as a human.
10. Everything that I need to develop my potential will appear as part of the ups and downs of life. This means that getting up each day and dealing with life on life’s terms is my real spiritual practice. I practice techniques like meditation because I enjoy them, but when it comes to developing as a human they may be surplus to requirements.