I often look at what I've amassed in life and have to fight off some despair. I don't have a house or family. I'm not famous or influential. I've written a few books and done some art but not many people buy them.
I don't really want some of those things (not sure if a house or family are for me) but it's hard to find something that proves I have spent 40.5 very well.
But my counselor and some counseling-type books had encouraged me to look at my memories lately. So I started turning on my phone's voice recorder (helps me keep attention) and just talking myself back through old memories, one by one. And I was really surprised at not only how many memories I could remember but how many that I had really amassed!
Some of them were sad, or insubstantial, but I realized that mountain of moments is mine. I've earned them simply by living.
And when I start to say, well, no one really noticed you in that class, or you were on a walk by yourself where nothing happened, I learned to tell myself something. I told myself, whether it seemed like an insubstantial memory or not, I was part of an intricate system of living organisms and settings that were influenced by each other. And it was part of this big living organism called earth. I was part of LIVING in this world.
And I was part of something really big.
I am part of your life, and you are part of mine, even if through connections we will never know. And together we are part of the world's story.
So when you look back at your life and say 'I don't feel like I have done much.' You probably have. Sit back for 45 minutes, turn on your voice recorder, think about some memories, and start to get a glimpse of the small (or big) part you have played in a very big, substantial story of a big beautiful substantial earth.