Philosophy Friday: All That Glitters Is Not Gold

By , October 22, 2010

If we were to look at our lives on paper, they might well glitter — at least by societal standards. Looking at our resumes, we’re proud of the outward things we’ve accomplished: the jobs we’ve mastered, the roles we’re been valued for, the amount of money we bring in each month.

But we must also consider the reality of our hearts. We may look pretty accomplished on paper, but what’s the feeling behind all that? Is it true joy? Did you love doing all that stuff? Do you love what you’re doing now? Or was it stuff you did because of the influence of someone or something outside yourself? Or maybe the feelings are mixed.

I’ve found that what makes life worth living, for me at least, boils down to two things:

Being with people or pets that I have a strong heart connection with (for me this is a very small circle), and doing things that my heart loves to do. I always know what my heart loves because those are the things that give me energy, uplift me, and excite me. What drains me and depletes me has nothing to do with my heart.

In this urban reality of high rent, high food costs, and expensive healthcare, sometimes we must do what drains and depletes us temporarily, at least until we can make the transition to live more in line with what our hearts ache for. And F. and I are in that boat together right now…temporarily doing what drains and depletes us, in the form of our rat-race jobs, in favor of earning and saving money so that we may then buy land for homesteading and living a more heart-centered, self-sufficient existence.

What makes the situation trickier is that “in this economy” (are you as tired of that expression as I am?) we feel lucky to have jobs. It’s hard to think of quitting glittering-good jobs that provide steady income, health insurance, and paid vacation. It’s also hard to think of staying at these jobs because of the way they drain every last ounce of our energy…and how we come home angry and stressed from the day, too tired to even do the footwork involved with transitioning into a life closer to the land. Those same impressive jobs that decorate our resumes are precisely what’s preventing us from doing what’s most important in the whole entire world — devoting time to who we love and what we love.

It’s hard to know what to do. It’s hard to know when it’s the right time to give your two weeks’ notice and go for your dreams, especially when there are some very practical considerations to be made like rent, food, and health insurance. The health insurance, especially right now for me, is important. And I’m so not into western medicine or health insurance…but that’s a whole other topic. I’m very split — appreciating my insurance, benefits, and steady income…while at the same time aching like never before for some land and a slower, quieter, more soulful life. I don’t know the answer, so I’m waiting as patiently as I can until things become clearer.

Are you in a transition like this too? Is it as hard for you as it is for me?!

Leave a Reply

The Herbangardener is powered by WordPress