What is it to be self-realized? Can we ever truly attain it? And is the so-called journey truly realistic within a turbulent and volatile society scathed with changing values and uncertainty?

At 49 years of age, I’ve pondered these questions over the last 20 years of my adult life. Various jobs, multiple careers and creative expressions, raising a child on my own, family discord and dysfunction, financial woes and successes, emotional, mental and physical discomforts, multiple lovers, half-marathons, travel, spiritual experiences, etc… Where is it all going? And for what?

We’d like to believe that we are separate from the world around us. But in effect, the world around us is our mirror. The change we seek in our lives, and for ourselves, is indeed the change happening in the world… not the how, but the what.

Change has not been my best companion. However, it has been the most constant. An everlasting, turbulent and powerful cyclone, both internally and externally, that has uprooted me to new experiences (whether desired or not), creating chaos in one, if not all, aspects of my life, simultaneously.

Its path is forever expanding, destroying and creating. Is this God? Is this what is meant by self-realization? And, when do I get to pay my bills, do more of what I enjoy throughout this process?

With so called hope and faith, we are lead to believe that the rewards for such growth and learning are money, acceptance, understanding, love, prosperity, freedom, abundance, status, power, recognition, fulfillment, assets, joy, etc… But alas, these too are fleeting!

Life, I’ve discovered, is all about maintenance. Maintenance of our health, needs, finances, home, beauty, values, friendship, relationships, family, cars, careers, communities, the planet, etc… And if by some freakish chance we experience joy, peace, love, compassion, kindness, beauty, and forgiveness along the way, then it’s a bonus!

No longer do I believe that we are here to attain or acquire anything other than the wisdom derived from our experiences…. whether those experiences be personal, relational, financial, spiritual, sexual, emotional, mental or professional.