This is (not) the final lesson in my list.  It may seem an odd topic on which to (not) end, but of course, it’s not an ending.  I feel like a yo-yo that has come to the fullest length of the throw, spun idly for a while and is about to accelerate in a new direction.  Not required.  

It is a lesson that has taken a very long time to become apparent and runs contrary to everything I’ve been led to believe up until now.  But in summing up a lifetime (almost) of experience, it pretty much says it all.  You (I, Me, Us, We, the whole lot, but most specifically I) are not necessary.  We are surplus to requirements.  Thank you very much, but the world will continue to turn if you do this, or don’t do that, or,,, add your own must-do’s here.  

But don’t be discouraged.  This is a good thing.  It’s a very liberating concept and this, more profoundly than the truth, will set you free.

Because you are now free to apply a more careful measure to everything you do.  For example, you are now free to learn how to give.  Here is the true heart of charity, where giving is a voluntary act, free of demand, necessity, or expectation.  You give because you sense a need and you are free to respond with no compulsion.  It is a selfless act.

You are also free to learn the more delicate and demanding art of receiving.  Whether it is a gift, a greeting or a smack in the head, you are now able to savour, appreciate and to digest what comes your way.  Since there is now no obligation to return in kind.

I no longer respond to what & where I am required but can elect to go and apply myself to what & where I am needed, the difference being the former is what others demand.  The latter is what I demand of myself.  The former demands a response, the latter a judgment.

A requirement is what others judge it to be.  

A need is what I judge it to be.

I find myself at a crossroads like no other I’ve faced in my life and,  seeing no clear path, I am puzzled, vexed and a trifle depressed.  I feel like a retriever, casting back and forth, searching for a clear scent to lead me to the target.   

I can only trust that, given time, the way will be made clear.

 Lesson #100 – You Are Not Required

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