The Joy Of Doing Meaningful Work

10 Aug
August 10, 2008

I sent two clients who had completed our four-week programme to the airport yesterday.  As I said goodbye to them, I felt a surge of emotions well up inside me.  I walked away from the departure hall blinking back tears, overcome by a poignancy that moved me on a deep level.  When you’ve had four weeks of caring and watching the personal battles of a client who’d been residential with you, you can’t help but feel a little sad when they leave.  But it was sadness tinged with an admiration for their courage in pushing through some issues that are quite painful to deal with and coming out more whole that moved me.

I was reminded of my fortunate position to help facilitate personal shifts in people and by extension, of my place in life where opportunities abound for every individual to make meaningful contributions to one another.  Just as I’ve contributed to our clients by virtue of my job, they have made unplanned contributions to my life.  Such moments of recognising the abundance of life and the greatness of our spiritual role often infuse me with a deep sense of gratitude for simply being alive, being a participant in the universal cosmos.

More and more, I believe that to find work that enables us to make meaningful contributions in a way that fulfills us is what makes living in this world joyful.  The road to recovery from our painful habits is paved with signs that guide us to our real place in life.  Our journey on the road to recovery must be taken to lead us closer to that place, where the gifts of our healing, the “what’s behind the door” of our pains, are transferred to help others get more happiness, inspiration, hope, peace and joy.

If your journey seems all too overwhelming to you right now, you could perhaps be consoled by the idea that every painful moment you move through courageously now will help shape a strong, positive future.  Nothing will go to waste unless we make it so.  Behind every pain, there is a gift that will make itself apparent to you as long as you move ahead with a sense of adventure, openness and discovery.  We need not force ourselves to love our pain but to approach our pain with a certain expectancy in discovering something positive which we cannot yet see will give you the drive to move forward in your journey.

Not that the journey will ever end.  Our ego-based personas may not recognise this but on the soul level we are constantly seeking out more situations that push us to reclaim yet another piece of who we are beyond our identity.  To strive for that point of an ultimate victory over life is to defeat the whole purpose of life.  We win the game when we’ve looked at ourselves at every challenge we faced and as such the game is never over until we cease to exist.

True fulfilment, then, is when we grow out of pleasing our ego through thoughts and actions that come out of a desperate need to be liked/loved/admired and of hurting our enemies, to feeling profoundly grateful from observing the growth of those around us.  This is not to say that we must kill our ego but to find ways to transcend our ego at times to get to a place of seeing the bigger picture which can be a very beautiful thing for us.

Golden Buddha in Cave, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

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