Monday, August 26, 2019

State of mind

Like most people, my state of mind can change throughout a day
let alone a week or a month. But for the most part I do my best to mostly stay positive
and not worry. In the big picture, I would say I am a positive person who doesn't worry
about much. Some would say that this is due to the fact that I am more financially
successful these days and have most of my needs met. I am happily married with a beautiful family and doing work that I love....true. But this does not necessarily mean that I am "happy" or "peaceful".
I have met plenty of people that seem "rich" to me and they are miserable and not wonderful.
Obviously, life is much easier when your needs are met. When there is food on the table and the bills are paid life gets more personal. When you are not worrying about just the basic needs, we start to think about the more than basic needs. Am I getting enough love, attention, etc. Mostly, people that are poor worry about one thing, how to survive. People that are not poor worry about many more social aspects of life. Some in the eastern philosophies would say that having more than we need
is a much greater burden than not. Trying to keep up with the latest in Cribs or the Kardashians is
a reality than only the newer generations have had to deal with. I grew up poor in a 5 room apartment, but we always had food and shelter....but that was about it.
I learned early on to entertain myself and be able to enjoy life without much money or stuff.

I know what it's like to be poor, and I am so thankful. I am always grateful for what we have and
the life we live today. We are by no means "rich" in the American Traditional use of the word......
we are just middle class. BUT, growing up lower class and making it to the middle is a big deal
and to me...we ARE rich. I couldn't be happier to see my kids off at College getting an education
and my children being able to play sports and go to dance. I am so happy to see that my children
don't have to live life poor. But I also worry that they do not always appreciate their lives.
They constantly see life on the internet and in movies and television that is just so over the top
and so grandiose that they think we don't have anything. I also worry that they think they are entitled to this life, this is just how it is for everyone. I know that this is not do too.
I have encouraged my children that are of the age to become involved in their political lives and to register to vote. They seem less than interested. They tell me that they're not interested in politics
and that they don't care about who wins or loses. That to me is a sure sign that they have grown up
privileged. They have grown up with everything they need and they don't need to worry about others
or the future. Life will be good for them no matter what. (I certainly hope so)
This concerns me. This is a false positive of course and I am not always sure how to get them
to understand that life takes continual growth and work to succeed: Spiritually, Emotionally, Financially, Ethically, and so on.
If we are not concerned about being involved in our community and what we feel is best for the whole, we will never truly be connected as human. Life is more than fulfilling our personal needs. In fact, true happiness is helping others. If we are not concerned with who "wins or loses" in our leadership roles, we probably do not worry about others as well.

Most of all, what worries me is that if they lose this level of life with no concerns, will they be able to handle it? Can they handle "not having"? Can they still be happy?
Everyone has to learn for themselves, I understand, but as a father I want the best for my kids.

I look back on living poor in south St. Louis and think how I lucky I was to have that experience
and to have learned to be happy and be free through my work with recovery groups.
I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but in the end, I was always able to survive.
Today, I realize that happiness and contentment is all a state of mind.
If I am not working spiritually each day, I am not happy. I truly cannot enjoy the material world around me if I am not spiritually successful.
I pray each morning, do some meditation and reading and also some physical exercise.
When I have had enough sleep and my body feels good, it is easy to be spiritual.

This state of mind takes diligence and patience. Sometimes I will not feel the way I want to feel,
so I have to be patient and give myself a break. Sometimes I have to meditate longer and pray more for a day to get going positive. I do the work, because I know the result.
When I stop doing the work, I blame you, I blame life and I blame my circumstances.
In the end, I know this is not true. It's's always me.
I am the one who decides how this life will be lived today.

I work hard for this state of mind because I am selfish.
I like the way this feels and I want more of it.
I realize now that I could live without almost everything material.
I do not want to, but I could if it were necessary.
This allows me to be in wonder most of my day, and that is how I choose to live life.
I am in wonder of this life.

Peace, Love, Zito.....