Where Does Fulfillment Come From?

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A question was posed on Facebook by Jennifer Pastiloff in response to someone telling her the only way to have a fulfilling life is by having children. She then asked, do you have kids? If no or if so, are you leading a fulfilling life? Do you judge women who have chosen not to?

I found this whole concept thought provoking. For me, personally, I believe life is what you make of it. Will having kids or choosing not to have them guarantee a fulfilling life? I would have to say that any sane person would honestly have to answer no. I truly believe that we base our judgement of feeling fulfilled by the wrong things. Many people are defined by their job. Others are defined by the future super stars they are mentoring and raising. For me it’s a double edge sword. What about the parent that feels she has failed? What about the person who suddenly loses his job? When we are defined by any one thing, the mere loss or gain of it can change our entire self worth.

I have kids. Do I always feel fulfilled? Heck no, and there are times I feel like I traded my life for theirs. I love them and there are moments I feel so grateful or so proud that I cannot fight the tears that magically well up in my eyes. Then there are the days I look at my kids and wonder where in the world I could have gone so wrong. When someone is hurting and my kids lack compassion, I can’t help but wonder how I contributed to something so awful. The truth is, parenting is a major lifelong commitment. If someone’s dream is not to become a parent than I respect them for not bringing a child into the world that they do not want. We are not all cut out to be parents anymore than we are not all cut out to be surgeons.

Where does fulfillment come from then? Hopefully it comes from many things. I think fulfillment is a constant state of change. Somedays we feel full and other days, our souls feel so empty, we are filled with unimaginable pain. Those days you are feeling fulfilled you should bottle up for the days that fulfillment is not so much. Take the days as they come, the good the bad, the unexpected and do the best with what you have. Tomorrow is a new day and it arrives with a new set of circumstances. Our attitude however, we can control. So choose a good one and make the most of the gifts you are given. And don’t judge. Don’t ever judge. Wear your own shoes and tread your own path, and let others do the same.

Success based on anything but internal fulfillment is bound to be empty~Dr. Martha Friedman

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have~Unknown

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