I've just finished reading a detective story by M C Beaton. The hero is Hamish MacBeth, the village policeman in a tiny village somewhere on the coast of Scotland, and life is just right for him (apart from the "love interest" side of things). He has no ambition for promotion, a larger house, more chickens, or even more money, as far as I can judge.
I've lived and worked in a world of incremental promotions, moving up, taking the next grade, holidaying in more exotic places, salary increases etc etc all my life.
Can it be possible to be "successful" without "progressing"? Is it ever possible to have "enough" and not want, or perhaps, more to the point, need, more? The last few years (job redundancies, financial uncertainties) have taught me to cling less tightly to what I have, and to refrain from reaching out towards what I know I can't have. This has been a tough process, and I have frequent relapses.
It seems to me that it is important for me to understand, and accept, and be happy with who I am, without reference to external comparisons. I've long understood the second part of the Summary of the Law "to love your neighbour as yourself" to mean that unless you love yourself, you are not going to make a great job of loving your neighbour.
But when God tells Moses "I AM", God is describing himself without any reference to anything else; not "I am the Lord your God" or "I am Creator of the Universe" or "I am your Father in Heaven".
So, is that how I should describe myself? Not, "I am a mother" or "I am a reasonable pianist" or "I am a music teacher" or "I am a sinner", but simply "I am"? Can it be that my existence is a sufficient explanation for who I am? That's a rather scary thought.
Wasn't it Popeye who used to announce "I am what I am"? That rather brings me back down to earth. Phew. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8TRoMSG-5I