Seeing Life as It Is


I talk about the possibility, the life we have been given. With all our responsibilities and the things people tell us, we forget what we have been given.

I have a little story, and it is about a man who used to dream of all the things he wanted in his life. He wanted to marry this beautiful girl, have a good-paying government position, have some land. He was very good at dreaming, but he had no sense of reality. Things would happen all day, people would send him letters, but he would ignore them.

One day, he got old. He looked at his life and thought about his dreams, lamenting that none of them had become a reality. Then he saw a big pile of letters and started opening them. To his amazement, there was a letter from his girlfriend who wanted to marry him. So he called her, and she said, “I waited for you, but I got no answer, so I went ahead and got married.”


He opened a letter and it was from the king, offering him a great job. He called the king, andthe kingsaid, “I waited for you, and you never responded, so the job was given to someone else.”

As he opened each letter, he realized that all his dreams had come true, but he wasn’t there to accept them. If only he had seen the reality, he wouldn’t be lamenting. He could be celebrating.

I’m telling you this story because it is like that with us. We also have our dreams, our hopes, and our aspirations. At the base of every hope and dream we have lies the wish to be fulfilled, the wish to be happy, the wish to be content.

A letter comes to us every day in the form of breath, but we don’t open it because we’re too busy dreaming, trying to come up with formulas and ideas of how we can be content. But happiness itself is included in each one of these envelopes of breath that the Creator gives us. When it is too late, then we look at them and start to open them. Then we say how precious they are, and we look at all the ones we have wasted.

It is so important that we acknowledge the reality of this existence. We get so busy painting our ideas of how this life should be that we actually miss what is really happening. We walk with a bag on one side that is good and a bag on the other side that is bad. Everything we pick up goes into either the good bag or the bad bag. Take away the good and bad, and it is what it is. When you can see it as it is, it is beautiful. When you were young, you had this ability. You could see something for what it was—not good and bad, right and wrong.


If you want that joy in your life, bring back the heart of a child. When we can once again see with the pure eyes of our heart, we can see what we have been given, that the gift of existence means something. Not “what I have accomplished” but “I am alive.” Life unfolds, and the gift is presented again and again. If you open this package, in the heart of it all you will find beauty, simplicity.

Go within and feel that beauty, that contentment. Find your comfort, your joy, in this reality. Find your shelter in this beautiful place. 

— Prem Rawat