Wednesday, December 2, 2009

{authentic success...}

Not every day is easy. Not every day comes with the same inspiration and certainty of self that other days do. Not every day comes with equal amounts of confidence to trudge through the doubt; the sometimes nagging struggle between worldly success and its authentic counterpart. But, every day does come with the knowledge that where there is a gift...there is a Giver. And I was humbly reminded of both today when I read the following essay by Sarah Ban Breathnach...


Authentic success is different for each of us. No single definition fits all because we come in all sizes. One autumn afternoon years ago, while wandering through an abandoned cemetery, I discovered a wonderful definition of authentic success inscribed on the headstone of a woman who died in 1820: "The only pain she ever caused was when she left us."

Authentic success is having time enough to pursue personal pursuits that bring you pleasure, time enough to care for your home, tend your garden, nurture your soul. Authentic success is never having to tell yourself or those you love, "maybe next year." Authentic success is knowing that if today were your last day on earth, you could leave without regret. Authentic success is feeling focused and serene when you work, not fragmented. It's knowing that you've done the best that you possibly can, no matter what the circumstances you faced; it's knowing in your soul that the best you can is all you can do, and that the best you can do is always enough.

Authentic success is accepting your limitations, making peace with your past, and reveling in your passions so that your future may unfold according to a Divine Plan. It's discovering and calling forth your gifts and offering them to the world to help heal its ravaged heart. It's making a difference in other lives and believing that if you can do that for just one person each day, through a smile, a shared laugh, a caress, a kind word, or a helping hand, blessed are you among women.

Authentic success is not just money in the bank but a contented heart and peace of mind. It's earning what you feel you deserve for the work you do and knowing that you're worth it. Authentic success is paying your bills with ease, taking care of all your needs and the needs of those you love, indulging some wants, and having enough left over to save and share. Authentic success is not about accumulating but letting go, because all you have is all you truly need. Authentic success is feeling good about who you are, appreciating where you've been, celebrating your achievements, and honoring the distance you've already come. Authentic success is reaching the point where being is as important doing. It's the steady pursuit of a dream. It's realizing that no matter how much time it takes for a dream to come true in the physical world, no day is ever wasted. It's valuing inner, as well as outer, labor - both your own and others'. It's elevating labor to a craft and craft to an art by bestowing Love on every task you undertake.

Authentic success is knowing how simply abundant your life is exactly as it is today. Authentic success is being so grateful for the many blessings bestowed on you and yours that you can share your portion with others.

Authentic success is living each day with a heart overflowing.


I will forever be grateful to God for the presence of the written word in my life...

1 comment:

Jen Berry said...

i've sent on this post for a while. it's simply amazing. touching. hits home. thank you for sharing it. i will be sharing it.