How does sharing dinner and wine with friends relate to authenticity and responsibility?

A few evenings ago, a small group of friends and myself had dinner and a glass of wine together. It was a simple evening with no agenda and no plans except to show up and share a meal. At one point during the dinner, it became so obvious that each of us was feeling extremely good about life. Let me introduce the idea that we are all over the age of 55 and retired or semi retired.  Our financial situations are all different as are our living spaces. Three were single and two made up a couple. As I stood outside of myself, I could see and I could feel the difference in my companions from even a few months ago. The energy that swirled around us told me we had all found the path to inner peace and acceptance of life and what the meaning of life meant to us, as individuals and as a collective. The roles we played in one another’s lives brought us together at that very moment, sharing friendship. There was a palpable presence that I could feel in the air. I do not want to cheapen the experience by saying, there was a sort of “magic in the air”, but my heart swelled with joy in my chest. This was one of those moments that permanently etched itself deep within. How did each of us arrive at this place when, as individuals, we live apart, live completely differently lives and, in general, live unique lives?

There many people in the world who do not know the joy of life, and never will, as they  struggle daily with themselves fighting anger, frustration, sadness, illness and fatigue. As you, I know friends like this. At times I want to help others see there is a different way to live. They too can feel the goodness and the beauty within and without. They can learn their suffering is really an illusion that does not belong to them. Everyone can learn to ride above the illusion rather than trudge in the density of it. As they continue to battle their own existence, they are their own enemy.

Each of has our own journey. To experience pain and suffering,  to experience love and joy, and  to grow spiritually, emotionally and psychologically, is part of this road of life. How do we reach these higher aspects of ourselves? How do we come to learn our life’s purpose and learn our role in one another’s life?  How do we assist one another during our time here on earth without changing our own path, without passing judgment and without infusing what we believe we “know is best”?

Authenticity is being genuine. Genuine to yourself. To be yourself is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to give to others. When you are real to yourself you allow all that you are meant to be to come forward and guide you. This guiding force leads to a sense of trust that everything will be ok, despite the hardships, the knocks and the failures.This trust leads to a profound feeling of freedom. Freedom from the heaviness that can be felt in the day to day events of the illusion of life.  Your inner light will shine brilliantly, which in turn, will serve as a gate for others to be their authentic self.

I believe, as a soul, prior to coming to earth, we designed a plan of our life to be. Some recognize this plan as “karma”. Returning to this planet to re – live or re – experience what we missed the “last time” we were here. Part of this plan includes other “souls” who signed on to play a part in our journey. Some of these “souls” play roles that are loving and kind, some roles are unkind and mean, some roles are significant and some are meant only to be sign posts to lead us to the next step. Regardless of the specificity and depth of the role, each of these individuals are meant to be a part of life. We, in return, also signed on to play a role in their lives.

We all need one another to fulfill our soul journey. Every one we meet, our lovers, our forever friends, our acquaintances, the grocery store clerk and the bus driver. Every incident we experience, the smiling child at the park, the unhappy old man neighbor and the maintainence person working on the dryer is meant to be. Each of these people, and we in turn,  are here for each other.  We are here to fulfill our journey. We are here to bring us to our higher selves.

To be authentic with others and to be authentic to ourselves, nurtures our life plan.

To be authentic is to be responsible. Responsible to ourselves , responsible to one another and responsible to our learning on this journey of life.


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