We cannot control what happens, but. We can strongly influence what happens next by the way we respond to what happens. Balance and harmony do not depend upon external circumstances. Living from our center with sincerity and non-contrivance, mindful awareness and optimal emotional distance between ourselves and what is happening in each situation as it arises, positions us to see with right seeing, hear with right listening, and offer what is called for in the right way at the right time-- spontaneously, without anxiety, like a parent taking care of their child, or like a tennis player responding to their opponent's ground stroke-- even as we pass through the clashing rocks on the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea.
The trick with caring is to live as though we care whether we care or not. Fake it, as the AA slogan goes, 'til you make it! Live to fake it so well, not even you can tell "if it's real or if it is Memorex"! It doesn't matter if you really care if you really live as though you do! Just act the part! Play the role! Live so as to deserve an Academy Award every day for the way you express/exhibit/incarnate caring in the world! If the world can't tell the difference, and if you can't be sure of the difference, for all practical purposes, there is no difference! And you will be doing what we need you to do! And all of life will be blessed by your doing it! Live like you mean it! Care like you mean it! Whether you do or not! The difference you make in the lives of others, and in the world at large, will be the same! Do not get hung up on "not really meaning it"! Live as though you really mean it! Feelings follow actions, as the old saying goes. So get in there and act your way in to feeling what you don't feel yet! Living as though your heart is in caring about your life, is a necessary step toward caring about your life! If you are going to take anything on faith, take this on faith-- and live as though it is so! And it will be so! The world is dying for you to will and to do here! Step into your life and live there in ways that do what needs to be done there the way it needs to be done when it needs to be done in each situation as it arises-- whether you feel like it or not-- and all the world will rejoice and be glad!
We are here to care about everything we care about, and we are here to care about all things. Caring is the foundation of life, living, being alive. To not care is to be dead. The only thing separating the living from the dead is that the living care about being alive, and the dead don't care about anything. Give yourself a caring-quotient. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being dead and 10 being maxed out in love with the universe, where do you stand now? Are you more dead than alive, or more alive than dead? You owe it to yourself, and to me, and to all of us who are, ever have been, or have yet to be, to move toward caring more each day of your life! Caring is caring about what we do and how well we do it. Caring is the most important thing about us. Everything hinges on the quality and depth of our caring. If you are going to practice anything, practice caring about everything! About everyone! About all of it! Care like it is the only thing that matters! It IS the only thing that matters!
Martin Hägglund, writing in This Life, says we have to attach ourselves to what is meaningful in our life. We cannot abandon what is meaningful in the service of ambition. We cannot put meaning aside, or put it off, until we have socked away a fortune and have it made. The price of a fortune is the loss of a life. The life that meaning was calling us to live. There is no substitute for meaning. There is only meaning and denial. If we are not living meaningful lives, we are kidding ourselves. We are lying to ourselves. And are in denial. Drinking too much, drugging too much, partying too much, working too much, burning the candle at both ends too much... chasing money, burning meaning. We have to sit down with ourselves and have a come to the truth of how it is really moment. We cannot kid the part of us that knows meaning when we see it. So, sit down with that part and listen. If you will. You have to will it to be so. You have to will your life back into place. You left the way, turned aside from the path, and wound up in the wasteland of your discontent, and now you have to find the road back to Eden. Ah, but you know the price of returning to Eden! No one goes back there without dying! This doesn't mean a physical death, but spiritual death. We have to die to all that is keeping us from living a meaningful life. That means working it out. It is like dying to work meaning into our life, to live comfortably around meaning, to live with a foot in different worlds, to pay the bills and do what we pay the bills to do! Death and resurrection is the recurring theme of living the life that is our life to live. A life of meaning and purpose is a life of joy and sorrow, a life of vulnerability and pain. A life of being true to ourselves. A life of troth, good faith, and dharma-- lived aligned with our heart, in accord with the Tao. We have to will that life into reality. Day by day. Moment by moment. It doesn't just happen. "Pick up your cross, daily," said Jesus, "and come along with me. Those who put their hand to the plow, don't look back." Every seer who has seen has said the same thing. Living meaningfully is no walk in the park. We cannot do it only when we feel like it. Are we up for it or not? That's the question. We like the idea, but are we committed to it? Will we live meaningfully, or throw life away? That is the choice. We are kidding ourselves if we think it isn't so.