Let’s face it: not all relationships or experiences – the different aspects and seats of our lives – are happy at their core.
Many are indeed lyrical, effervescent, and beautiful, yet many can also be hurtful and test our resolve. If we are awake, aware and receptive, all the seats in which we choose to sit, and all the seats that are saved for us, present opportunities for us to teach or to learn.
When we were little, we often looked to our parents or other adults for answers to our questions.
As we mature, as a dear friend of mine shared recently, we have the gift of viewing life from a drone’s perspective. We have the choice of seeing things from a 50,000-foot level and have an appreciation of how the pieces fit together to make a cumulative whole.
The questions may remain, yet the adult distinction is that we own the quest for the answers if we have the courage to dig deep and face the ambiguity and paradoxes of life.
As James Hollis aptly states, “Our lives and their purpose—not in the answers, but in living large questions that are worthy of our soul’s magnitude.”
Sitting in these various seats (literally and metaphorically), undoubtedly questions will be raised. I believe the questions we ask ourselves and others throughout our lives inform our decisions, our priorities, our contributions, and ultimately how we choose to live our lives.
Life is not about any of us having all the answers; it is about asking questions to stimulate the inner genius in each of us, and to help us create an aligned life, which by my definition is to love what we do, be good at it, and, most importantly, have our contributions tied to something greater than ourselves.
At the root of it all, we long to matter. We long to be seen and heard. We long to make a difference in the world.
The seats in which we sit can serve as catalysts for these questions that are the guideposts along our life’s passage. Our relationships and experiences prompt, provoke, and sometimes persuade us to consider new views, new directions, and the wondrous complexity of life. Our responsibility is to remain present for these encounters, peel back the layers of these questions as they are revealed, and create a life of greater awareness, ongoing evolution, and fulfilling contribution.
Highland Park’s Kristin S. Kaufman, an author and business leader, recently nished the third in her “Is is Seat Taken?” series.