I awoke one morning around 4 am as I often do. My body has somehow programmed itself to hate me thus making me open my eyes way before sunlight hits my window. But whatever. As I was awake at the middle of the night, I decided to begin scrolling through social media in search of something to occupy my mind.
I began watching videos and looking at pictures of others living life. They looked happy. They were taking risks. They were being bold. I asked myself, “Are you really living or are you just obsessed with the concept of it?” The question frustrated me. It saddened me because in that moment, I was unsure that I could say with honesty that I was truly living my life. I recognized I had become burdened with doubt at times. Occupied by routine and responsibility, I’d fallen into the routine of making excuses for why I could not simply live.
This question sent me on a quest to discover who around me could declare they are living and what it truly means to live life. The quest was interesting. Filled with Facebook, GroupMe, and text message conversations, I discovered that many people associate the concept of living with having an abundance of money, traveling, being in their desired field, having extra time to have fun, etc. As a person who quit her job and now makes my own schedule, I’m confident that living does not begin when you change your job or when you have money. Eventually, after asking myself and others several questions, I settled into a long conversation with God; which was my favorite part of this quest. I began as I always do, asking questions; letting my mind wander into the possibilities of what it means to live until I received what I felt to be profound and acceptable answers.
What if, living has nothing to do with money or a particular status in life? What if living is only partly about fulfilling desires? What if it’s also about being obedient to your spirit in each moment. Following it even when it feels and looks crazy? Jumping when there is no parachute to catch you. Standing when your legs are weak. Living begins when you make the decision to live. (I believe) living cannot be constricted into one section or place. You can be living life adventurously yet have such a burdened and resentful heart. Or you can love yourself and others yet neglect your desires because you deem them unworthy of fulfillment.
Living means so many different things for so many different people. There are many factors that come into play when evaluating whether or not you are living. Tailored to the individual, living is allowing your heart, mind and spirit to be open to the beauty and possibilities of life. Not holding yourself back because of carnal feelings (such as unforgiveness, offense, bitterness, fear, etc) but instead letting yourself fly and experience the supernatural. Allowing yourself to tread waters that may scream “keep out.” Experiencing euphoria in the sacrifice of appearances and the acceptance of others. Loving beyond walls. Doing the “impossible”. Challenging your own status quo. Finding beauty within your realm of circumstance. There are million ways to live life. You choose what that looks like. You choose what you’re willing to sacrifice. If you choose to sacrifice self-fulfillment in order to please your loved ones, and that is what living means for you, we shouldn’t dare tell you that you’re wrong until you yourself decide that it is no longer life-giving to you.
Maybe “living” changes and evolves as we do. Hopefully as you change,so do your desires, views and needs. For some, living means following a routine. For others, it means having no routine. I believe as we were created, we have the right to live life however it so pleases our spirits. The standard is whatever has been placed inside of you. Knowing yourself, being unafraid to discover, believing in something bigger than yourself; all foundational when living. Maybe you live some days and others you don’t. Maybe some days, living means staying put in your home and watching TV, or reading, or doing whatever the hell you want.
I’m learning that I don’t know a lot. But I will ask questions. I inquire. I ask God for clarity. I evaluate myself, I talk to my best friends and my soulmates. I acquire peace in the midst of all of that. I find beauty in discovery. Beauty in the unknown and beauty in our ability to evolve, question and gain new revelation everyday.
and that for me, is living.