I have come to believe that a meaningful life consists of journeying to discover who we really are! In the process, we can grow into a whole, conscious, loving person fully developing ourselves and realizing our potentials.

Besides: Who are we, really? Are we just a mind, body, and soul with feelings, thoughts, sensations, a good side and bad side? We must be more than that.

To develop into a whole person means to bring all of our parts into a synergistic, creative whole, with all parts working in harmony. We put the pieces of ourselves together and we find that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. A deeper understanding of ourselves, of our lives and of the Creator begins to flourish.

Where do we find happiness, then? Most of us with a normal ego see ourselves as the center of the universe and are driven by our needs being paramount. Many of us in the West have the unconscious expectation that our daily experiences should align to our wishes and that life owes us something. But when we stop and think, or stop and feel, we notice that we’re not in control. We are only a small part of the universe.

My first encounters with death opened my eyes and brought me great insight into the meaning of life. Before my 23rd birthday and a month before my wedding, my sister died of a brain tumor at the age of 39. Within two years, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died about 19 months later. I loved my sister and my father and I had a number of opportunities to keep vigil at their bedsides in the final months, days, and hours. I was with my father when he took his final breath. These experiences brought me face to face with the reality that I, too, am going to die. I was born into this world, and I will leave it, whether I like it or not, at a time and manner that is not determined by me! I recognized that life works independently of my wishes! And happiness blossoms when we flow with life rather than push against it.

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