Have Your Life Matter – Rhonda Hull, Ph.D.
Itâ€™s amazing to me that we live on a planet of over 6 billion people of all sizes, shapes, and cultures and we still can feel so disconnected and alone at times. Kids grow up and leave home, partners pass away, pets die, relationships end, but all you have to do is drive in traffic in any major city to experience that people are disgruntled and distracted for far less apparent reasons.
Many get up each day and face life as if it were a firing squad, traveling bumper-to-bumper with others experiencing the same aloneness and dissatisfaction with life. We are so close, and yet so far away. We forget we have the power to connect and choose with our focus on all that is wonderful amidst the hectic pace of life. Discouragement and our lack of feeling acknowledged, being without authentic connection, and feeling devoid of simple kindness in the greatest roadblock to our happiness. Actually, I believe it to be the greatest roadblock to world peace. Our bumpy road is as much a result of our inability to receive as it is in our ability to give.
Ever since I was a child I wanted my life to matter. Like most children I had dreams, did my best to be kind, strived to do well in school, to clean my room, and be who I thought my parents wanted me to be. I was dyslexic before it was vogue and easily diagnosable. This made my educational journey toward my dreams of doing something meaningful, like being a rocket scientist or finding the cure for cancer, quite a bit steeper. How can you accomplish such important things if you are always the last one out to recess, held back because you couldnâ€™t spell the mandatory word for access to the playground? Instead I found myself embarrassed and in the lowest reading group, thus heading me down the path of feeling invisible and not enough.
In school the process of moving from the lowest reading group to the highest was a straight line that I found hard to travel, though I somehow managed. Fortunately with maturity came an important inner awareness. Life is not flat and linear, but a multidimensional spiral of adventures, inner and outer. Just about the time we think we have learned a lesson and â€˜thinkâ€™ we need not revisit and repeat an old pattern the humor of the Universe brings it up one more time for review just to be certain. The phenomenon is still true and the choice is always our. Our power is not always in controlling the circumstance, but in finding the grace to choose joy amidst challenges and delights circumstances offer.
I long ago gave up the dream of being a rocket scientist or finding the cure for cancer, not because they are not worthy goals but because they are not my dream or my calling. Oneâ€™s passion need not be extreme. I am a pioneer, a mom, a speaker, and a friend. Those other dreams belong to someone else. It seems it would have been easier to have such specific talents that could be more easily applied with such clear and certain outcomes. Being sensitive and right-brained I was left with more intangible values. With the self-doubt fostered by childhood mislabeling I have often times questioned my worth and acted as my harshest critic.
Yet, another insight along the way offered me a knowing that gifts do not have to be big in size and scope to have significant meaning. It is often something as simple and genuine as a smile offered at a low moment that provides the cure for the cancer of aloneness and boosts someoneâ€™s heart into the stars. And so, I still may be haunted with feeling of â€˜not enough-nessâ€™ from time to time, but deep down I know the talent I bring is my gift of heart. My offering of hope is my relentless determination to resurrect self-acceptance, foster happiness, and nurture meaningful connection to leave my legacy. I may not help in the exploration of outer space or create the vaccine for the common cold. What I offer instead is my invitation to rally for happiness, and my authentic attempts to heal the inner cancer of aloneness and to welcome you to the magnificence of your inner space. This is who I am as a woman. This is my worth. Embrace yours. Together in this way we create world peace.