Contemplation for Clarity

Photo by Johannes Plenio

I’ve been thinking lately about where I’ve come from and where the world is headed. How much my daily life and expectations have changed, how I’m grateful for those changes even though I can’t really imagine the outcome yet, and how painful some of this process has been.

It’s helpful for me to get a little analytical about the what’s and how’s of things as a way to find some sense of stability and hopefully clarity. Granted, clarity has its seasons. Sometimes we have to swim in the deep, dark waters of the unconscious with nothing but a faint glimmer of knowledge it won’t always be so deep and dark for us. That some day it’ll make more sense.

But back to the analytical bit. When clarity is possible and just requires a bit of perspective and focus, I like to zoom out. Get a lay of the land. Look back, look from someone else’s point of view, look forward.  Ask and answer questions.

For what it’s worth, I’d like to share some of the questions I’ve been asking myself with you. This time they’re all about the fact that we’re all standing on the backs of our parents, childhood caregivers, and the societal structures that have come before us. How this is the ground from which we’ve grown as we continue to evolve and create a new foundation, embedded in the world we share today. This is a contemplation about what we’ve inherited, what we’ve passed on, and the definition of success.

Again, it’s a lot of questions. The answers are yours.

Let’s think about this.

Questions for Contemplation

Reflect on the foundation of your parents and caregivers – what were they given by their families and what did they build with their lives? What was happening in the world around them? How did they define success?

Consider this your original foundation.

Was there anything that they achieved that you could take for granted? How is your definition of success the same, and how is it different? Can you identify their struggles that are still your struggles? What about the passed down challenges that you’ve healed and overcome? It’s inevitable, we’re born with a mixed bag, and a mixed bag we pass on.

To take it one step further, if you have children of your own or kids in your life, can you see or imagine what they’re doing with the successes and struggles passed down to them? How have they evolved from their original foundation, influenced by the world that’s surrounding them? How is their definition of success the same as yours, and how might it be different? How is society different?

Contemplation along these lines can be insightful – grounding, stabilizing, and clarifying. At the very least, it’s an interesting mental exercise. May it bring you something good.