As I’m getting older, I become more curious about why life is the way it is. I ask a lot of questions like these:
- Why is there such a large income gap in the world and the United States?
- Why did I make a big change at around 30 to change my life to be something more than what I was?
- Why have I changed my views on religion, especially when many of my family and wife’s family are strong in their beliefs still?
- Why did I choose to share this information?
- Why do certain people enter your life at certain times?
- How do people handle being torn between two different things and trying to make both happy and stay happy themselves?
- Why are some people completely accepting of changes and differences and others feel they have to force a change?
- Why do the tough things happen? And do they happen randomly or for a designed purpose?
- Why is it so hard for people to share what is beyond the surface?
Life is full of questions. I gotta a whole lot more questions than answers. Whenever I think I have an answer, I find someone who makes me rethink what I thought was an answer.
I look to others for advice, but even so, I am finding more and more that my own intuition is proving to be better for my life. I feel more fulfilled, satisfied and full of life as I listen to my own intuition while still getting feedback and advice from others. In that spirit, let me share a few words about each of these.
Why is there such a large income gap in the world and the United States?
Because wealth is going to a small group of people. More people are born to families that aren’t wealthy, so the proportion is going to get more lopsided as more people are born. Wealthy people also spend their time working on their businesses, save their money, continue to invest their money, and have a philosophy and standard of wealth. Yes, some people win the lottery or are born into a rich family. But to keep that wealth requires not splurging that money, which often happens with lottery winners.
Why did I make a big change at around 30 to change my life to be something more than what I was?
I think I realized I wasn’t doing everything I could for myself and my family. I started to ask questions about reality and some of my beliefs I’d held for 30 years. I asked the question that could other people have perspectives and opinions that add truth. When I opened myself to that possibility, I found a lot of great people who share things that are different than my beliefs. So it was curiosity and a desire to be something more. I always want to be in a place that I can handle life. So far so good.
Why have I changed my views on religion, especially when many of my family and wife’s family are strong in their beliefs still?
This sort of ties into the previous question. Having been raised LDS Mormon and getting married in the temple, why on earth would I think any differently? Isn’t my life in eternity threatened if I do this? Will I be forever separated from my family simply because I asked a few questions and saw more to life than one perspective? What about the commitments I made at church to do certain things – isn’t not doing some of those now meaning I don’t keep promises and don’t have integrity?
I think questions and thoughts like this are good. I can only share how I feel about it. I don’t think it is fair to make a pledge for something, find out it is not serving you, but being forced to continue to do it anyway. I don’t think that is right. I also think multiple perspectives beyond one really is the beginning of wisdom. I also think that it is more likely that if there is a judgment after life, that our intents and hearts and actions toward our family and fellow humans will be looked at rather than how much we attended a temple or church.
Why did I choose to share this information?
It’s risky speaking about things like religion in a family and culture where it is normal and generally accepted behavior. It is risky knowing that people will subtlety try and convince me that I am wrong or that I am a lost soul, rather than being supportive and undertaking the journey of further exploration with me. I risk having people think differently of me or withholding things from me. I’d rather people be supportive and curious with me, but I also understand that lifelong beliefs are not easily questioned or shed from people and that I am an anomaly. And I’m ok with that because I am being true to myself.
Why do certain people enter your life at certain times?
You might wonder why you meet certain people at certain times. Is it all a matter of chance? I’m not sure – but I think all our actions and things we are looking for in life play a role in this and how we view people. If you’re looking for a really good friend to come into your life for instance, you might meditate and pray or ask the universe to bring that type of person into your life. And chances are if you pay attention it will happen. I know I’ve been fortunate at my day job to really get to know some wonderful people. I really feel like I have some lifelong friends there and it is because I decided I wanted some people like that in my life.
I think intent matters and understanding that not everyone will be interested in you or your life and being content with that. But if you look hard enough and try hard enough, you’ll find someone that is interested. And those are the kinds of friends you want in your life – not just the type of friend for casual conversations, but the kind of connections where each of you are genuinely concerned what is going on in the other’s life and listening intently. I really am thankful for this and it’s all because I started looking for it and recognized the people who would be these kinds of friends. And it makes work much more of an enjoyable experience.
How do people handle being torn between two different things and trying to make both happy and stay happy themselves?
The kinds of tough questions that have entered my life are: How do I keep my family happy while having changing views that are true to myself? How do I do good work and spend the necessary time with my family? How do I deal with new developments in my life yet keep those who are close to me happy.
There isn’t an easy answer, but I do have one. It is simply choice. I choose to make sure my wife and family are taken care of. I make the choice to listen to my wife and make sure she gets my love and attention and knows that I care about her and our family. I also choose to make sure I am a good friend to those who are outside my family circle. I believe we can have close relationships with multiple people and that having good friends and connections is healthy. I didn’t always believe this. I used to be very closed and was happy with not getting to know people outside my family. But I’ve realized, especially as a manager at work now, that it is critical to get to know people and be concerned with their lives.
Why are some people completely accepting of changes and differences and others feel they have to force a change?
One of the fascinating things I’ve witnessed as I’ve shared new changes in my life is the way some people are accepting and interested and others are more interested in ‘reeling’ me back in to my old self. It would be nice if everyone is supportive, but I also understand that when you believe something strongly, you might feel a sense of betrayal at abandoning it. And if you abandon that, what’s to stop you from dropping other things. I think that is fair to ask. I don’t have an easy answer except that I care about people much more than I do beliefs at this stage in my life.
Why do the tough things happen? And do they happen randomly or for a designed purpose?
I think tough things happen because of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, lack of knowledge, lack of opportunity, or just plain ignorance or bad choices. I’ve certainly hurt myself, literally, with ignorant choices. I had a kidney stone surgery, lower back surgery, and am now dealing with a potential right shoulder injury that could require surgery. All these things are my fault in being careless. It’s me not learning my lesson and it’s me being mortal and subject to the laws of physics in the world.
Some tough things are due to laws of nature or a law made by people that just plain inhibit you. Some are probably just random chance. And there might be some grand design or plan for it all. I don’t rule that out. If there is, I don’t understand it. But I know I can learn from my mistakes, keep a good attitude, and protect myself, my family, and those I care about to the best of my ability.
Why is it so hard for people to share what is beyond the surface?
It’s because life is like a video game, except you cannot go and load your saved game. Each day, you must live with everything that has happened to that point. If you say or do something and someone rejects you, that is reality. You can’t go back and say, “Well, I’ll just redo that and not say what I was thinking.” No such luck. Everything that happens is a done deal. And that makes life both scary and exciting. It’s scary because you can mess up and say or do something that screws you up. But it also means you can take a risk or reach out to someone and show you care. And if they understand the nature of life as it is, they might recognize the courage it took to do what you did.
But no, most people won’t share much more than their surface thoughts. It’s too scary and takes too much time away from their life. We are all like onions with multiple layers that we show to different people. On the outside is our day to day casual interaction. As you peel layers, chances are, less and less people know what those inner layers are. They are your inner thoughts, desires, and experiences in life. And it is more risky to share these as they might tend to be different than what normal day-to-day life is like. What if someone rejects you for sharing what you believe?
Well, that’s my thoughts about the truth of it all. Truth is relative to what our individual experiences and beliefs are. I just want to say I am thankful for such a good family, a good wife, two wonderful daughters, and those who are willing to spend the time to listen and get to know me for what I am. I really am thankful for life and my health (even with the bum shoulder right now). I feel like each new day brings a new adventure and I just want to make the most of it. I’m not an Oracle with all the answers, but I am becoming less afraid to do what I know will bring growth in my life.
Thanks for reading!