I know I have been silent for a while. I was away to spend some time in silence and solitude. But you are ever iny thoughts and prayers. You wrote to me that you feel like that you do not measure up to your own expectations, expectations of your parents and your peers.
I know the pressures to succeed are immense now days at any age, but especially for a young person trying to find their way. I know for me, sometimes the hardest critic was myself. I always judged myself based on my thoughts, and today I judge myself based on my actions.
If you set your life on principles set by a loving God, then you will be able to hold your head high no matter what others thinks or even what you may initially think of yourself. Sometimes the thoughts my brain generate of myself is not my best friend, it tells me lies based on fear, self pity or pride.
However, today I strive to take right actions despite my brain telling me to not do a thing, or someone else will do it. True measure comes in acting upon higher principles instead of listening to fleeting thoughts or feelings. It is daily choice of choosing of rigorous honesty and willingness to open your heart to unknown possibilities. Be guided my friend by a greater love instead listening to thoughts of doubt or self-hate. You are worth of love. Our true Measure comes from our capacity to love and be loved with the fullness of our hearts.
In the Light,
Your Friend on this Journey of Life
You asked me how to be successful in the spiritual life; my answer is to that you must fail time and time again. Failure on the spiritual path teaches us that we that truly grow out of our own power, and we cannot walk this path alone. We grow in community, and we need others to show us how to pick up the pieces once more when our lives become shattered and broken. In our weakness, we learn that we need God’s love to sustain us and to help us grow.
I know that you shy away from Scripture, but yet you love the Beatitudes:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! (Luke 6:20-22).
You told me once that these words call you to walk a humble path, and ask of you to live in a state of willingness, honesty and open mindedness. To be successful in the spiritual life is to know that life dedicated to self leads to a dead end because we will always crave more. You strive to follow the path of the Buddha, but even he saw that life filled with glorifying self leads to futility:
Those who are selfish suffer here and hereafter; they suffer in both worlds from the results of their own actions. But those who are selfless rejoice here and rejoice heresfter. They rejoice in both worlds from the results.of their actions. (Dhammapada 1:15-16)
A life dedicated to spiritual principles and helping others gives us a deeper purpose and meaning that is beyond any worldly success. I strive to love God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my strength and with all your mind; and love my neighbor as myself. You strive to live by the path of the Buddha, who dedicated his life to teaching others so they may also be free from suffering. Both paths lead us to be successful by allowing higher principles to guide our thoughts and actions.
I hope this letter finds you well. I will hold you in my prayers. I am grateful to be on this path with you.
In the Light,
Your Fellow Traveller