“The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals,
the tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach.
It isn’t a calamity to die with dreams unfilled,
but it is a calamity not to dream.
It’s not a disaster to be unable to capture your ideals,
but it is a disaster to have no ideals to capture.
It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars,
but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach.”
Dr. Benjamin Mays
Last year, it was on more than one occasion that I told my daughter that maybe it was my time to go. I would have made that choice in order to escape the pain and suffering I experienced. What kept me from giving into that feeling was the love for my children and grandchildren and the love they gave back to me. I did not want to leave them.
There was also something else I didn’t want to leave, my unfinished work. I wondered what would happen to my half finished books and to all the articles I had written, after I was ‘gone.’ Spending over 5 weeks in hospital, I had plenty of time to entertain such thoughts. As the days and weeks passed, I came to a more truthful realisation – that perhaps I wasn’t intended to complete everything I started. Perhaps accepting that some things might be left incomplete was more realistic. As I allowed myself to accept this truth, with it came a calming ‘letting go and letting God.’
I came to know and accept that it didn’t matter if some of my goals, some of my dreams, remained unfulfilled. Finally, I felt OK about this. It is true, as Benjamin Mays reminds us here, that the important thing is to have goals, to intend to do, to dream, to want to reach the stars, to desire to attain our ideals. The important thing is to want to accomplish such things, to work towards them, nurture them, to do our best to bring them to fruition, but not to berate ourselves when they remain incomplete. The important thing then, the most realistic, peaceful and joyous attitude, is to let go and let the Divine within us deliver the outcome and for us to know that all is well. Whatever that outcome.