The Fuel of Life

Every morning I used to receive an e-mail statement by Eknath Easwaren. He was a wise teacher about life and meditation. I have much caregiving to do which really drains my energy and occupies my time. So when this came the other day it really hit home and I think is something we all can learn from. The following are his words of wisdom.

“Without a tank full of gas, no car can drive very far. The mind, too, needs a full tank of vitality to draw on for patience, resilience, and creativity. Filling that tank every morning is one of the most practical purposes of meditation. The test of your meditation is: How long can you be patient with those around you? In the beginning, you should aim to make it at least to noon acting like the proverbial angel. Most of us, however, even if we start with a full tank, have little control over the thousand and one little pinpricks that drain vitality as we go along: worry, vacillation, irritation, daydreaming. By lunchtime the indicator may be hovering around empty. Then it is that you have to be acutely vigilant. The tank is nearly empty, but by sheer effort and deft defensive driving, and using the mantram, you manage to coast through to the end of the day without any serious accidents. The more effort you make, the more endurance you gain. The next day you may find the tank itself a little larger; you start the next day with a greater capacity for love and patience than before.”

Besides recharging your own battery and filling your own tank, survival behavior leads you to ask for help from friends and family, say no to the things you do not want to do, and save your fuel. Many years ago I heard a song which says it all very well. I kept searching until I found the man who wrote it, Tom Hunter, and we connected. It is entitled Rock Me to Sleep. I will place the chorus at the end.

All I can hear are the crickets
and the whistle of some lonely freight.
I’ve been working so hard to make everything right
but for now it’ll just have to wait.

I’ve never been too good at asking;
I’m more apt to do it alone.
And it’s strange how a lot of us think something’s wrong
If we can’t do it all on our own.

It’s funny how times when you’re hurting
Makes what’s familiar seem strange,
So when you need help,
It’s the hardest to ask
and it always takes so long to change.

So Tonight, I’d like you to rock me to sleep
I’d like you to sing me a song.
I’m tired of doing things all by myself
and I’m tired of being so strong.

I mentioned my fatigue due to caregiving, and that I try every day to overcome the problems I create by my behavior and attitude. I know I am the problem and the one who chose to do what I am doing every day and tired of being so strong. The following is an interesting comment, but it is not fun to keep learning from your falls. The harder you fall, the higher you bounce. What makes me happy is a day with no appointments, scheduled events or anything which leads me to stumble and fall. A day where I can just flow with the events, I have found that time ceases to exist when I act out of love.

I know when I focus on love and faith and let my troubles, feelings, and experiences become my teachers, it helps enormously. When I fill my tank with love, there are no problems to overcome or work to do. There are just opportunities to love the same people who make my life seem stressful due to all the things I have chosen to do for them. Again they are not the problem, I am. When I accept that, I then have the power to resolve the problems. The following quote by Thomas à Kempis explains it very well.

“Love feels no burden, thinks nothing of trouble, attempts what is above its strength. It is therefore able to undertake all things, and it completes many things, and warrants them to take effect, where one who does not love would faint and lie down.”
~ Thomas à Kempis

When you run out of love, you have an empty tank and an empty life.

Peace, Love & Healing,
Bernie Siegel, MD


Related posts:

  1. Old Times and Life
  2. View Your Life as an Experiment
  3. Who Has the Answer to a Long and Healthy Life?
  4. Q & A with Bernie – September 23, 2013
  5. Q & A with Bernie – September 10, 2012
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