The people we encounter appear so different as we walk through the world. We see babies, older men, pregnant women, and teenage boys. We know couples on the verge of marriage and lonely widows. We interact with toddlers and the terminally ill. As different as each person seems, they all live the human experience. They are just at other places in the cycle that begins with birth and ends with death. Every phase of the process of life has its gifts and its challenges. Each stage is temporary and ultimately gives way to a new degree. This ephemeral quality makes each phase precious because it will never last.
One of the beautiful qualities babies and young children possess is that they are unaware that a life cycle exists. They are present to wherever they happen to be right now, and they don’t give much thought to the past or future. Being around them reminds us of the joy of living fully in the moment. On the opposite end of life’s cycle are our elderly role models. They are a reminder that each phase of life should be treasured. Time does pass, and we all change and grow older.
Being aware of the cycle of life and our place in it makes us wiser. We can savor it more as we develop a genuine appreciation for our phase. A new mother going through a difficult time with her infant can more easily embrace her challenges because she knows that her child will grow up, and she will long for this time again. Complex and challenging periods are inevitable, but – like everything that is a part of the life cycle- they are temporary. When we are fully engaged with life, we get to savor and grow from each phase and are ready for the next one when it arrives. Fully embracing wherever you are in the life cycle is the essence of happiness.