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    There are two purposes to life: to live and to love. It’s when we start thinking we have to live up to some imagined competition that we get into trouble. If you are living a lie, you need to own up to it and speak your truth. You need to fully accept your life as it is, your feelings as they are, and commit to living an honest, humble life. You need to be grateful for everything, every day. If you feel your life is pointless or joyless, it is because you are blind to the reality of what you life is and what life is offering you. I think digging into your past can sort of be a waste of time. Here is a letter I read elsewhere, and he much more eloquently and patiently expresses what I just said.


    Hello my friend,
    My name is Wind in Vietnam. I would like to gently share some ideas and questions with you. Everything I share is only to invite your curious quiet contemplation within yourself. If you choose to. After share, everything depends on you to choose this or that.
    Sometimes the door to escape all troubles and suffering is so close my friend, but what blocks each people from walking through it? Because though they may say, They Know. They understand. They can not give up their story that binds them inside to an illusionary self created prison to practice everything.
    I share..
    When was the last time you sat down face to face with yourself and everything in your life before you ran to old habits for an imagined temporary feeling of safety?
    Do you think that when the Death appears, it will care about all your study, wanting, hoping, needing, anxiety, depression, worry, your dreams… and show compassion and time with you?..
    Do you think ‘the time’ is beside you like the friend, waiting with you in all your suffering and wanting?
    Suddenly the Death appear, do you think you can hold and bring all your PhD, doctorates, dreams, worry, anxiety, tablets, wishes and wants through the door?..
    The Death care about your study? You are important with the time and Death?
    My friend… questions are for you to patiently face and contemplate if you choose to. Why the difficult question has value? Because from the question creates occasion for everything to open.
    Now you are the man of 42. Can you answer, what is the law that controls each and every Soul that comes to the life? Why at 42 you are still here but many did not even get past one hour of life?.. What law controls?
    A story..
    One day the man plants a fruit tree in the ground.. A special tree he chose. He like so much. He dreamed of the tree becoming so big and beautiful and many fruit. Each day he water, take care.. Always checking every day its height. The leaves.. Everyday he watching, wanting it to grow. He begins impatiently. Inside him he sees the imaginary tree so big. He begin praying to make it grow and everything will be ok. Inside, he begin all sorts of suffering in the wanting. He can not sleep, always checking, worry something wrong.. He think, why not growing? Is it sick? Too slow, too slow….
    My friend… In this small example story.. Did you see you?
    What is the mistake of the man?
    His mistake is he did not see that the tree must follow the law of tree. That everything takes place according to the Law and on the time, with enough details and conditions, everything appears. Not early or late, but on the time.
    What is the cause of the suffering? From grasping in imaginary outcomes.
    In each imaginary outcome from grasping at what is or not and what if… Each person did become like the man running through the desert trying to keep a piece of ice in their hand.
    The door to escape is to drop all grasping in the wanting. Have you ever tried to catch the space around you in your hand? You will only most certainly tire yourself out.
    From imagine, everyone did invite the appearance of all kinds of illusionary trouble and sickness.
    Now you are the man of 42.. You good mind, study.. do everything for your life.. But you did not understand anything about yourself. And the purpose of the life. Means, in the grasping, you mistake with you.
    What is the nature and root purpose of any job, from a President to a Beggar? Only to earn for ones life. Everything else is only the appearance. And so.. when we lose ourselves to the appearance of the life, we begin to lost ourselves inside.
    Whether the man is happy with the tree growing or angry with the tree not growing does not change the Law of tree. So what happens inside the effect or grasping and wanting? You lose yourself to your emotions that become like strings controlling a puppet. From your dominating emotions attached to the grasping, you volunteer your Soul into slavery. You lost the time becoming attached to the prison of KEEPING. Keeping false ideas, thoughts, opinions, fears.. That develop into all kinds of different names..
    My friend..
    Each persons life is like the fruit tree. And the name of the law that controls each tree is the cause and effect law. No one can know what fruit will or will not appear until it appears. Fruits equal effects.
    Behavior is the most important detail. Behavior with yourself in each moment. As each idea, thought, action becomes the seeds for effects tomorrow or another time. But no matter what.. effects always come right without discrimination.
    So from your grasping, your wanting of this and that… What will be your effect you invite?
    Stay in the purpose of your purpose and cut the habit of grasping. And……….. Everything will take place.
    Relax with your life. The life. How is too relax? Relax means to see everything as it is and accept everything as it is now. You see that like the tree, the life is always moving and changing on the law. That all possibilities appear on the time. You either begin wake up and practice to create space inside by removing all false obstructions, for these possibilities to have the right conditions to grow and develop..
    Or… from your grasping in fears, desires of imagine.. of wanting.. you grow weeds that suffocate the space inside.
    My friend.. No one can imagine that all they need is the courage to NOT KEEP.
    KEEP, may have many different appearances but the effect is always the same. As, what you keep, keeps you. Now at 42… You must (must means if you choose to) begin wake up and see the limit of all things and the deeper value of the life.
    Even if I wrap my body around the tree in fear or happiness.. Does not change the Law of tree.
    I borrow an example from early in my life to describe idea… As my Father died.. when he knew he was going to die at 26.. He said, ‘It’s ok’
    Inside Its ok, has the big lesson my friend past the appearance. Means, inside the nature of Its ok, is a complete acceptance of ones life. Its ok mean, we are not against the circumstances of our life. We accept everything that is or is not and peace and balance in any situation that comes or not come.
    My friend.. from 2 small words you can see the great value if you can quietly inside and put the idea beside your life. Whether the job appears now, or a year.. Its ok my friend. You only stay in good purpose, good behavior with yourself in each moment. You do everything good in prepare and courage and confidence in each step… Then you will see, that everything will take place.
    Must courage to get of the wheel of habit like the mouse run and run.. But did never go anywhere. The wheel of always a slave to emotions. And begin see everything from another corner. The space of awareness. Awareness burns the dark inner clouds of emotions. The life has many appearances.. but all suffering regardless of the appearances come back to the emotional attachment to grasping in the life.
    Not one tablet, not one worry, not one moment of lost sleep, not one imagined outcome… can add one second to your life my friend. I have… I am.. I want… are all small prisons for the Soul.
    All attached to emotions…that run deep like the roots of a tree.
    Begin to overcome yourself by opening your hands with the life. Begin practice gratitude in each action. as gratitude creates the space for balance in the acceptance of your life. The value only appears in the positive action.
    All your fears, are the effect from your View. As by the view you use, so it exists exactly. Grasping in the appearance of imagine, dominated by emotions we become like a person searching for keys in a dark room.
    Where is the light my fiend? The light is your awareness. Awareness needs energy. You have awareness but not the energy because your so busy with your emotions, which are like a thief that continuously robbed you in broad daylight but you did not see.
    These words can not save you. Do not attach to the words but focus on the content inside.
    As……Only you can save you or destroy you.
    So I share..
    You must courage to begin drop all grasping. Drop all grasping does not mean we lost purpose. But inside the purpose we see the limit of the life. Of all things. The movement of the life.
    We see at the same time, that the purpose of the life is to pay and receive equal with our cause and effect. To practice to grow up our Soul and awareness and overcome everything. To release the grasp on illusionary objects and outcomes that become our false idea of real and continue to lead the soul deeper into confusion.
    My friend.. Now at 42… If you can quietly with ideas. You have the great occasion before you. The life always has 2 faces… That is the law of the physical space we live. When everyone stands in happy, means sad waits. Everyone says, I love, means hate waits. Everything feels so good, means the face of bad waits.. All from emotions attached to a discriminative View.
    When you have the courage my friend to face to face with YOU. You life. Not an imagined life from, WHAT IF. And begin fresh steps towards putting everything down inside. Letting go of all grasping attached to false thinking and ideas.
    Put down the inner discriminations and judgements of everything is either good or bad and just see everything as it is.. And practice inside the idea of ITS OK.
    You can not imagine… the possibilities that will begin to appear inside. They were always there… just like the Sun is always bright.. even when obstructed by dark clouds.
    Now is the good time for you to begin forget an imaginary past and bring your eyes back into your own eyes to see everything that is right now. To awake in each step.
    I share from sincere experience. You must choose. You continue to push up your story of difficult to be your illusionary prison of real. Lost in the circle of talking and repeat.
    Or… you begin focus on clearing and cleaning everything inside and put down your attachments to wanting. Begin the courage to break up everything. Like a fire burns a forest of all dead wood and creates the fresh occasion for the new to appear.
    Everything wait for you my friend. The life wait for you. Your possibilities wait for you. All you need to practice is to release your strangle hold on all your grasping and wanting and needing and imagined outcomes and come back to yourself in sincere acceptance of NOW.
    Once there was this Lion. She had a cub. She was starving and the cub too. Each day she was hunting but kept missing. After miss, she just rested quietly under the shade.. wait for tomorrow.. days passed.. she kept missing.. starving.. But, after miss.. always relax in shade. Save energy. On the time, when everything connected.. She caught they prey. Her situation change.
    Like you my friend.. Do not scare…
    Must courage to peace in the unknown. peace in the uncertainty. Courage in the not knowing. Drop all grasping.
    So.. on the time when all the right right conditions and details appear.. You are ready with the energy you need to do everything equal with the occasion. Confident. Balanced. Faith from your positive actions.
    Its ok. Everything will take place. It is your duty to overcome you. That is the duty of the man to overcome everything.
    My friend.. These ideas should only be seen like strange rocks on the path of your life. To curious, to see, pick up, understand and practice is always your free choice.
    As each life, depending each person courage to self perfect = each destination.
    I wish you good luck.
    Thank you so much,


    Note: I regret saying “ugly” in my post. I don’t believe anyone is ugly! I should have said imperfect, as all of us are imperfect. And I should have said overweight rather than fat. That was insensitive and disrespectful of me. Sorry!


    Hi Felix – Thanks for sharing your feelings. Even though I’m a girl, I can relate to feeling insecure about your appearance. Your insecurity is about your height, but for someone else it is their weight. For another it is their face. For someone else it  might be they are too tall. So many of us, no MOST of us do not have an ideal body. We have to love ourselves in spite of our imperfections.

    One thing I wonder – do you really hate your height or is it more that feel others judge you because of your height, and so you height it? Because if it’s the latter, and it probably is, the real problem is that you are too worried about others’ opinions of you. Who really cares what other people think? The truth is most of them are too busy thinking about their own imperfections to notice yours. There are MANY short men and fat women and ugly men and ugly women who feel GREAT about themselves because they don’t focus on what other people think of them. One thing that helps me is to think of myself as my own child. Would I criticize my child because her face isn’t perfect? Would I reject my son because he wasn’t tall? Of course not! I would love the child just the same. This is  how we have to be with ourselves.

    We are each given one life to live. Life doesn’t really care what we look like. We can all enjoy nature, learn, grow, build friendships and experience all the amazing things life has for us no matter our height, appearance, etc. Life is the gift given to everyone.

    I hope you will look beyond your height and start thinking about the things that REALLY matter in life. I am trying to do this, too. I hope we both can do it!


    Thank you both for your responses. I have contemplated what you have said over the past few days. I realize I cannot blame the loss of my religion for all of my sadness and disappointed. As I was experiencing my sadness, I also realized suddenly that I am sort of being a spoiled brat about life. It’s as if I’m saying, “I’m not going to be happy unless I have a perfect life, and I am pretty upset that perfect life hasn’t been presented to me yet!” Hahaha – but seriously, that is sort of the attitude underlying all my disappointment. I look at happy people and I do think part of it is they just have humbly accepted what life has dealt them and find joy wherever they can. I don’t know where I got this horrible sense of entitlement.

    I also appreciated the suggestion to just get out and have an adventure. I am trying to just have more fun each day. It’s true I am so amazingly focused on working and improving that I often forget to just be myself and have fun. I am  trying. One thing that gets in my way are my two doggies! I hate to leave them, and I don’t really have anyone to help me watch them. I do have one woman I might ask. Your idea of joining a commune of sorts is tempting. All of those ideas are good. I don’t know how I would swing it. There aren’t many of those  opportunities where I live now. I was about to sell my house and move to a small house in Iowa, but alas I have saved that adventure for another day. Also it seems I always think those kinds of moves will solve my problems, but they rarely do.

    I was doing better, but today I was feeling sad again. One thing that always brings me down is a sense that I have failed in life. I really feel that I have. I was one of those gifted children, and I thought I would achieve so much! But here I am having so little. It is hard to go on often. I have not done as much as I thought I would career wise (my friends are doctors and lawyers and ceos). I don’t have the family I always wanted. I tried real estate and it’s a joke; I hate trying to sell myself. So – there is so much shame, and I know this gets in the way of me connecting with others. I tried to move into other careers that would draw on my natural talents more, but they have not worked out. I’m tired of trying.

    With the failure of my real estate attempt, I am feeling I will wholeheartedly throw myself into teaching again. I will try to be successful there.

    Another thing I didn’t tell you is I am sort of involved with someone. It is not perfect, but some of the time I respect him and feel we connect, and it does give me a sense of security. And he really does love me. He has a company and he is on the brink of some serious success. If that works out, it will open many opportunities to us. It will be interesting to see if it happens and how that changes me. I am thinking it is life’s secret gift it has been waiting to give me. I hope that is the case. We’ll see :-).

    Thank you for listening and helping! Sorry for the slow response.


    Thank you so much for your kindness in responding to me.  It is nice to be heard. I would say beauty in nature and beauty in people are two very different things. Beauty is super important in life; why would we have eyes if not to experience the beauty of our amazing planet? There is no denying that experiencing the beauty of nature makes one’s life better. BUT it is the internal experience while in the presence of beauty which really matters. So, yes, there are invisible things at play. And I agree that I can appreciate what beauty there is here. But what I was wondering, and this applies to so many things,  if aspects of your life really are not great. Or say an essential need is not being met (and maybe having access to beautiful places IS an essential need), should one still just BE and stop TRYING to CHANGE THINGS or  should one seek a change? As I’ve been thinking of this, it does seem if you are experiencing anxiety and desperation, it is best to embrace the present with all its imperfections, and when one is at peace, the best path will present itself.

    My loneliness: That was really just an aside, but it definitely is making my life less fulfilling and rewarding. I also feel shame about it. I appreciate you saying you want to try to connect with me. I feel a connection, even though it’s virtual. I don’t know where to start on this one. A big issue is  that I spent the first 35 years of my life deeply enmeshed in a religion which gave me immense meaning and security. Everything in my life was geared toward that religion. I had many great friends in the religion. Then I found out the religion was not based on true events. I tried to continue to be part of the religion, but I felt so hypocritical. Losing the religion stripped me of  my security and sense of meaning. I also have trouble truly feeling a connection with others because they don’t share those essential life experiences that came through my religion. One thing that has hurt me also, I think, is having my two sons grow up and leave home. Being a mother gave me meaning (although I was very depressed then, too). But I feel if I embrace the idea that I am still a mom, and they are my children, and this will always be one of the most meaningful things I have done, I feel more confident and at peace.

    Work: Those were great suggestions I gave! I do agree with them. But I am definitely NOT 60% okay with my job. I keep my job because it pays quite well, I work from home, and my hours are completely flexible. But my work provides no fulfillment. I don’t feel good about accomplishing anything. I don’t experience flow hardly ever. So it like I am living a lie to do my job. I often have to sleep in the middle of the day to “come down” from the show I am putting on for everyone.  On one hand I do try to do a good job, and my students really like me, so I feel sort of okay about that. But since it is a lie, I feel pretty horrible about it. I have tried to do other things, but it’s hard to replace the salary and the  work from home and the flexibility. I read the woman who writes Brain Pickings 7 Keys to a Happy Life, and she says never do something only for money, prestige or to assuage guilt. I would say I do my job only for money, and I do feel it has hurt my spiritual growth. I started selling real estate on the side. That has been sort of okay, but I really don’t like trying to say the right thing in the right way to get someone to let me help them buy or sell a house. HOWEVER I think I am going to try to totally be okay with my life and job  as is and see what happens. I will try to practice gratitude, self-discipline, self-care, etc., and I will try focusing on my students rather than the curriculum and see what happens. I feel good about this plan.

    Thank you for listening to me! If you have more questions or ideas, I would love to hear them.


    I often feel this way, also. I’m sure that many others feel this way, too, regardless of how they actually look. One thing that has helped me is this: I think about the people I’ve known that I respect most in life. You know, those people you think are just amazing humans. Then I consider: How good looking are they? Guess what? They aren’t necessarily good looking at all! Their looks have NOTHING to do with why I value them. Then I think of some good looking people I know. Yes, I may envy them and their looks. But again – guess what? Their looks don’t affect how I truly feel about them as friends or people in any way! I have a couple of friends who happen to be wonderful AND good looking. But interestingly, I don’t really think of them as good looking. Again, their value has nothing to do with their looks. Beyond being used as a tool to make quick, superficial judgments or to litter a website, LOOKS ARE IRRELEVANT. It is hard for me to remember this. I must remind myself of it 20 times an hour. But, it is true. I would be so much happier if I could truly embrace it. Maybe you can embrace it, too. You are soooo much more than your physical package. Think about everything that makes life meaningful. Almost all of it is invisible.


    Hi Parul!

    I may be the absolute worst person to give advice on this subject as I am 48 and am still looking for my right career! However, you and I have similar interests , and perhaps something I have to say will make you think.

    1 – We have the power to help others in any job by the way we do our work with pride and honor and by the way we treat our coworkers and customers. Truly giving to others is a matter of who you are, not what you do.
    2 – No job is going to be 100% perfect! Often we feel that if only I can find the right job, I will be 100% happy! It’s not true! No job will make you totally happy. Shoot for something that feels like at least 60% of the time you will be enjoying your daily tasks. Also, being so obsessed with finding the perfect job is pretty much the opposite of living with acceptance and gratitude.
    3 – I actually earned my master’s degree in counseling. I really thought I wanted to be a counselor, but I found out that good counselors make connections with others easily, and that is not me. I only truly connect with a very few people, and the clients I worked with sensed this. I also realized that what drew me to counseling was probably more a desire to understand and heal myself than really help others. I wanted to help others, but when it came to being in a room with someone I could not relate to, it just didn’t work. That being said, studying counseling has helped me understand people a lot better, which has helped me in my other pursuits. Of course, you might be someone who connects easily with others. If so, this may be the career for you!
    4 – We can never know for sure which path is the best path for us. We can quiet our mind, try to be 100% honest with ourselves, but in the end making a choice will always involve some risk. At some point you have to say, I feel good about this and I’m going to go for it even though I’m not 100% sure! If you end up less happy than you had hoped to be, perhaps you felt drawn to the choice because you needed to learn something from it that will eventually take you to your place of peace.
    5 – Some things you might want to consider as you explore your options more:
    What is it about me that prevented me from finding a fulfilling job in human resources? Is just switching careers the answer, or do I need to learn something from my HR experience first?
    What daily tasks does the career I’m considering involve? Is this really how I want to spend 40 hours per week?
    What has always come naturally to me in life? What activities in life seem to bring me the most joy? Does my career choice involve these things?

    Maybe some of these ideas will help you. I hope so!

    One more idea: Did you consider finding a job in employee wellness? Perhaps in a job like that you could use your existing degree and still help people.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 3 months ago by iamone.

    I started out in advertising, and I felt the same way you feel. There was a sense that I was lying to people, and it bothered me. I have also taken jobs in the past that I didn’t feel 100% great about, and in the end I have never been satisfied. It also seems if you compromise once, it is easier to compromise again, and then your entire life becomes a compromise. (Okay, that may be a bit simplistic.) On the other hand, I am sure there are many happy, fulfilled people in the world who got started doing a job that wasn’t a good fit for them at all.

    Here are some other questions that might lead you to some understanding: Do you like the people you have met so far? If you became more like these people, would you consider that a good thing? What would your tasks be? Do you believe in the product or service you would be marketing? If you really don’t get a good vibe from the company, do you think you could handle that for more than 6 months?

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