The fifth long-term strategy for how to cultivate a relationship with conscience is: Be a Participant of Life

Conscience tells you how to relate to what is happening at any given moment. The intuitive sense of ‘right response’ implies a relationship between ‘me’ and ‘other.’ You are not an alien from outer space, even though you might feel that way at times. You belong here, and you have a unique role to play.

Viktor Frankl wrote that to be human is to be continually confronted by situations. Each situation is absolutely unique. Each situation poses a question that awaits your response. Thus, every single moment, moment by moment we are engaged in an intimate relationship with life.

You may ask: ‘If I am already engaged in a ‘relationship with life, why must I cultivate one?’ But while the interaction with life is a given, awareness of it is not. When awareness is missing, it is as if the relationship doesn’t exist.

You develop a relationship by becoming conscious – conscious that you are here for a reason and conscious that everything you do matters. Sometimes you speak without thinking. The words come pouring out. Sometimes you act without thinking. The more you become aware that you will never pass this way again, the more you will speak and act consciously.

In addition, being conscious implies that you see people and situations as they could be and not only as they appear on the surface. The habit of seeing yourself as a participant and not an observer of life signifies your part in the dynamic, cosmic conversation: Tell me, what do you want from me today? What am I here for?