Can life be so simple? Only three things matter when all is said and done? I think I can handle three things. How about you?
Here are the three things the Buddha said matter in life:
1. How much you loved,
2. How gently you lived,
3. How gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
For me love means that you surround everything and everyone in good-will. Yes, you ought to love things as well as people - by this definition. You wish all good fortune. You wish no one harm. You work for the good of all. You work particularly well to help those closest to you to have good lives.
You try your hardest to make your love unconditional, no strings attached. (This does not mean you let people run all over you and call that love. That is self-destruction.) As far as is possible be at peace and goodwill with everyone and everything.
It follows, then, out of your unconditional love, which extends to yourself, by the way, that you live as gently as you can. What's the definition of gently? I define it as meaning you leave as slight a footprint as you can as you travel through this world and others' lives.
Your life certainly has significance in it's impact on others. How to do it gently? That means developing a conscious effort to be considerate and kind. Going gently through life will ease your way through life.
Life is a course of encounters and events. Whenever you knock into something or someone, even if only intellectually, friction arises between the two bodies encountering each other. So, the more lubricating substance you have between the two entities encountering each other, the smoother, the gentler life will be for all involved. Courtesy toward all, if possible, is such a grease.
Letting go gracefully is the final element in the Buddha's wisdom about the three things needful for a good life. This idea covers a sizable province. You were not meant to have too much stress in your life. Let go the unnecessary tension.
Occasionally you get tangled up in relationships that become poisonous or oppressive. Though it may be difficult for you, you need to detach yourself from the emotions that are poison or enslaving. You were not meant to burden yourself with such venomous encounters.
Nevertheless, there may come a time when you need to break away, literally or figuratively. At the very least, a certain detachment is appropriate because we are all separated by death at one time or another. You may need and want to grieve at the loss of someone important in your life. That's quite natural. But if you find yourself unable to let go, gracefully or not, you will suffer inordinately.
Therefore, gracefully let go of everything that is not truly meant for you - the more graceful the better. Life is a series of encounters all of which eventually pass away. If you think these are morbid thoughts, you have not yet seen the joy of gracefully letting go.
Life is this simple. Follow these three from the Buddha and your life will happier and easier than you imagined.
1. Love healthily,
2. Live gently,
3. Let go gracefully.
Happiness - Inside and Out