The eagle has probably the longest lifespan among bird species. It can live up to 70 years, but to reach this age, the eagle must make a hard decision in its 40s. In its 40s, the eagle’s long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serve as food. Moreover, its long and sharp beak becomes blunt as well. Its aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its chest and make it difficult to fly. The eagle is left with only two options: To gradually die this way or go through a painful process of change which lasts roughly 150 days.
This painful process of change requires the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest. There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks the beak out. After plucking the beak out, the eagle waits for a new beak to grow back. Then it will pluck out its talons and wait for new talons to grow. In the end, the eagle starts plucking its aged feathers and waits for new feathers to grow.
This entire process is very painful for the eagle, as it bleeds during the process and becomes weak and helpless. But after five months of this ordeal, it is ready for the next 30 years of its life. It is almost like a rebirth for the eagle.
We humans too need to go through a similar process of change if we want to enjoy our life on a constant basis. Over time, we develop undue attachments, aversions, love and hatred towards people and their actions. Our minds get conditioned and our ego gets hardened. This reflects in our behaviour, attitude and dealings with others. Slowly, we start making more enemies than friends; we start getting into more arguments than healthy discussions. We start carrying the load of past painful memories and find difficulty in forgiving and seeking forgiveness. This leads to a feeling of a burdened and painful life. Neither do we enjoy our life to the fullest nor are we able to make others happy.
In order to feel the inner joy of life and spread joy all around us, we have to start a change process. Like that of the eagle, our change process is painful too (as the mind does not accept change easily), but because the change brings us a fresh lease of life in terms of new happiness, joy, energy, excitement, positivity, etc — it is worthwhile to go through the change process.
We need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions. We need to adjust, accommodate and compromise according to the situations and demands of people around us so that relationships do not get strained. We need to forgive and seek forgiveness, let go off all that which troubles our mind. We need to find new approaches to our lives and widen our minds. We need to become more spiritual and expand our inner vision to such an extent that it loses the power to discriminate between good and bad, right and wrong, rich and poor and mine and yours.
Everything should be looked at equally. Everyone should be loved unconditionally. There should be no space for hatred, jealousy, enmity, ego, expectations, depression and disappointment.
Once freed from past burdens and negative aspects, only then can we take advantage of the present and live a joyful life.