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3 Great Spiritual Questions

What are your answers?

Woman walking on wet sand at beach at sunset, wearing long white coat.
What are your answers?

In her latest memoir, Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love, Dani Shapiro mentions three great spiritual questions.

1. Who am I?

2. Why am I here?

3. How shall I live?

These are good questions to sink my teeth into on this warm summer day. So, here goes.

Who am I?

A female Australian of Scottish descent. Wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, employee, writer, reader, walker, weeder.

Why am I here?

To support others through the hard times and spread joy in the good times. To earn some money and share it. To grow wiser as my hair goes even greyer.

How shall I live?

By taking one breath at a time.

Of course, these questions are demanding deeper answers than those I’ve given. More esoteric. Hinting at mysteries beyond human comprehension. But I don’t want to go there today. I want to stay at the basic, day-to-day level that includes everyone.

Billions of people down through history have never had the time, energy or space to ask the first two questions: Who am I? Why am I here? They worked from dawn to dust, fought wars not of their making, battled the elements, lost their way, were shipwrecked, sold into slavery, died in pandemics before that word was invented, were murdered, froze to death, or — if they were lucky — died in their beds.

But they answered the last question by the very acts of their daily life. The question, ‘How shall I live?’ entered the reckoning of each moment they took a breath. Their life was the answer.

The world is full of religious, philosophical, psychological, and mystical answers to the first two questions. But what if you never find the “right” answers before you die?

It doesn’t matter.

Even if you don’t know who you are or why you’re here, you can still choose how to live.

How shall I live? That’s the greatest spiritual question.

You answer it with your life.

With love, Marlane

Taking the free 7-Day Mindfulness Challenge may change how you live:

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