Only Three Things Matter

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you.”

In a recent discussion with a fellow Moxie, this quote surfaced as an inspiration to reflect on during approaching hardships.  Though the quote seems pretty straightforward, I could hear the phrasing calling for a deeper analysis.   Submitting to this call, I had a few realizations, and I find that they relate very much to my Moxie experience thus far.

How Much You Loved—

love yourselfAt times I forget that expressions of external love are largely reliant on the internal love one feels for his/her/themselves.  There are innumerable circumstances in which behavior can be affected by self-love, including social situations like parties, intellectual environments like university, and sexual settings like the notoriously ambiguous “hook-up.”  ”In the end” what will matter is not only how much you loved others, but also how much you loved yourself.  During Moxie, “loving myself” has included small responsibilities, such as respecting my own opinion enough to speak up and not being so critical of myself when I don’t understand a topic we discuss.

How Gently You Lived—

It’s easy to think about the typical definitions of non-violence in this case, like ones that preach peace and reject physical confrontation. If you think on it, though, living gently includes knowing yourself well enough to engage with others.  When you live gently by knowing yourself, small things that offend you less.  You no longer enter into situations that are particularly trying or futile, such as heated discussions with people you know to be close-minded.  In addition, you avoid internal turmoil by recognizing the way you think about things and evaluating your opinions based on this knowledge.  During Moxie, my “living gently” has included practicing open-mindedness and committing to engage in weekly reflections in order to learn as much as I can about myself.

How Gracefully You Let Go of the Things Not Meant for You—

This is the most difficult of the three things in that one first must gain the insight to recognize when things are no longer good for him/her/them and then summon the courage to let these things go.  These “things” can include anything such as viewpoints, traditions or ideologies; diets, old shoes or old friends.  I think that realizing when such things are not meant for you happens when you become troubled by the thought of keeping them.  During Moxie, “gracefully letting go” has mostly included realizing the things that trouble me to hold on to.  The next step for me, then, is gaining the courage and wisdom to let go.

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