Success: In the Eye of the Beholder
“I was never called to be successful; I was called to be faithful and in my striving to be fruitful my life will be fruitful and because it is fruitful you could say I am successful.” Mother Teresa (paraphrased in Contemplative Outreach News, June 2012)
This afternoon, my husband John read to me this description of success that really made my day. This idea of success is probably miles away from the ideas we usually hear today, but it reflects my philosophy. I tend to see the world through a spiritual lens that I know many people do not share. I forget that my idea of an adequate paycheck does not necessarily match up with my neighbor’s idea. I am contented to have family and friends who share my spiritual and artistic passions, and who know what it’s like to have an idea burning a hole in one’s mind, eager to find life on the page. I enjoy the comraderie of the freelance writing community, especially when a few of us are encouraging each other as we burn the midnight oil to meet our deadlines.
In many ways, my writing has become my spiritual practice. When I read Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones, I learned that it is possible to make a writing life a spiritual life. When I write, I find peace because I must stay “in the moment” and focus on the effect of each word, and the connection between words. I must step aside and surrender to the process. As I mentioned to my husband recently, writing and books are like oxygen for me.
So I am blessed to spend another Sunday afternoon in front of the computer, writing and reading — doing what I love to do best. I feel blessed — I know I am blessed — to have friends and family who value creativity. I feel like the richest woman in the world because I can write, and that is more of a blessing than money can hope to buy.