For some time now, my family has been plagued by the lack of money. I remember my parents often fighting over money; something which affected me as a kid. When I was a kid, around seven years of age, my mother once told me that she wanted to see me once as a great businessman; making a lot of money, making my dreams true and living happily. Since then, those words always rang in my mind. They made me think that money was the most powerful thing in ones life and the wellspring of ones happiness.
After my sixteenth birthday, I landed my first job as a busser which I would work during weekends after a week at school. I hoped to save enough money to start my own business. After graduating from high school, I opted to skip college so that I would work full time as a restaurant server. At this stage, I worked two jobs -seventy hours a week- so that I could pay my bills and save some cash at the same time. I managed to earn a good wage for my upkeep and was able to save some good money.
Nevertheless, my life was not getting better. I would feel miserable; I would get worn out due to my long hours at work and at some point was tired of my life. The fact that I would repeat the same schedule over and over again made me feel more like a robot and less of a human. I would wake up at 7 am each morning and take breakfast; I would then go to work from 8 am to 3 pm, later I would take a couple of hours to rest before returning to the other job from 5 pm to 11 pm. My life was getting more boring and exhausting. I had to deal with family issues on a regular basis, and this led me to go through depression. At some point, I felt I could not take it any longer and had to figure out a way to sought out the problem if at all I wanted to live a happy and meaningful life. For a while, I thought about what I needed to do so as to improve my life. Finally, I made up a decision to take three months off and move to Denver where I would have no contact with my family and friends. I planned to use this time to reflect upon my life.
On 21st May, I moved to Denver. At Denver, I did a lot of outdoor activities, spent time in the library to read philosophical books while meditating every once in a while. Given that I had a lot of time to relax and think, I started thinking about my past, present and future examining what my priorities in life should be. I started thinking, examining and questioning all my past actions. After a long period of regular meditation I felt like a completely new being, I started to see the world in a different and clearer perspective. I also got a better understanding of myself.
Meditation is a crucial part of solving puzzles in ones mind, since one pulls back from the outer world amid contemplation, abandoning the material self and the self's cravings. The true self is covered somewhere down in the mind. On the level of everyday awareness, one is not the actual self; but rather a reflection of a more prominent society. One is limited from the comprehension of real self by the desires of others, and by their fears and questions. However, as one ruminates and clears his or her brain of its futile thinking through meditation, one achieves a state in which he or she feels settled. With peace, come the ends to fears and desires, and the capacity to reflect upon ones true identity.
Since I was a kid, my world has been surrounded by certain routines of life that I have never bothered to question. My life was crowded by performing tasks which I didnt even understand. However, I did not pause and examine their benefits to my personal and spiritual growth. Like many people in the world, I was brainwashed by the media and the cultural society I grew up in. I was soaked up in an extravagant and opulent life after seeing famous celebrities doing that on TV. With all these absurd and fallacious information stored in my brain, I had a difficult time relinquishing these thoughts and desires.
Typically, most of us stick to routines without seeking to understand whether these actions help up fulfill our basic purpose of living. We are born and instead of seeking our passions we go ahead and join colleges and universities to pursue careers which we are not even passionate about. The main drive in the American Society is to earn large salaries and live prestigious lives that we forget to take a break and rethink what we need in order to make right decisions. We can all agree to the fact that this is how most of us live. I wasnt different from the rest of the world either. However, taking time away from my normal routine -away from my family and friends to think and meditate- changed me into a more reasonable, open-minded and thoughtful person.
The experience in Denver taught me the importance of living an examined life. It taught me the importance of us understanding our true nature for them to grow personally and spiritually. Since then I became a calmer, more relaxed, more tolerant, more honest, more self-assured person. I also improved on how I perceived individuals and solutions to problems thus strengthening my intra-personal and interpersonal relations.
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