As I read my credit card statement, my eyes bulged. I was being billed for two $5,000 cash advances I had not taken. Then there was a clothing shopping spree in Dallas. Someone had stolen my credit card information and went to town on it.
Life is not a series of opportunities to get somewhere. Life is a series of opportunities to be somewhere. Difficulties are not oppressions from a dark source. They are invitations to be a light source. Bank teller Emily has more change to offer than I can count.
A student told her spiritual teacher that she was suffering under “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” quoting Shakespeare’s famous verse from Hamlet. The teacher looked her piercingly in the eyes and asked, “Are you so sure that fortune is outrageous and it must bear slings and arrows?”
One of my favorite movies is the Truman Show, in which a man has unknowingly been born and raised on a massive TV set on which the entire world watches his life unfold. Eventually Truman begins to discover that the life he has been living is contrived, and he attempts to escape the tiny world in which he is trapped.
The beginning of a new year offers a poignant opportunity to set the priorities that will carry us through the year. We succeed or fail based on what we hold dear. Choose meaningless priorities, and you become the heir to pain. Live from what you value, and your life becomes a celebration of purpose.