“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” Mae West
Does your life feel complete? Is it satisfying and fun? If not, what is missing and what can you do about it?
Unlike Mae West, I believe we live more than one life, but I like the spirit of her quote. Just because I believe I may have another shot at this earthly life doesn’t mean I don’t want this time to be great or that I’m willing to stop trying to create the life I want. Right now, what I’m experiencing is what matters and I want to feel good about it.
A Full Life Is Based On Spiritual Values
What is a full life? I think of it as a life that is satisfying and full of peace, love, and joy, my three favorite spiritual qualities. It means I have good friends with whom I can share art, nature and good conversations and know there is a deep connection of love and respect. It also means that I am following my passion in the work I do, and the activities I engage in bring me joy.
However, we are each on an individual journey and have individual desires and needs. For example, I would feel deprived if I couldn’t view fine art often. It touches my soul and lets me see into the soul of the artist. But there are some people who never view it, who consider it frivolous or uninteresting, and feel no need to have it in their lives.
A Full Life Includes Love
To have a full life, we have to be connected to someone or something that we love, for the things we love feed our souls and expand who we are. When I am around my nephews and niece and their children, I feel such joy because, not having children of my own, I had the privilege of seeing them become adults and now parents. I’ve laughed and cried over them through the years and counseled and encouraged. There is no doubt that my life would be less full without their love and my love for them. So instead of feeling sorry for myself because I didn’t have children, I created relationships with them.
We Must Fill Our Own Lives
We are the only ones who can fill our lives. We decide what we will let into our lives and what we will reject. To most people, having a full life is about what we have in terms of security, family, friends, or work, but it is also about how deeply we are willing to live. What are we willing to do to make our life full? Are we willing to be the hero or heroine in our own life and take full responsibility for creating the life we want? Or do we choose to be the victim of circumstances?
If your life does not feel full, what is lacking? What are you ignoring that is too painful to look at? Over the years, I’ve seen many people who are educated, financially secure, and intelligent who have ignored aspects of their lives that make their lives less than desirable. I always wonder why they choose not to change what can clearly be changed. Perhaps they feel hopeless or are afraid that making the change would also have negative consequences in other areas of their lives. There is always a reason why we are not the best we can be, and understanding the root of the problem may require us to look deeper with the help of a therapist or counselor. It is important that, regardless of what limitations we feel exist, we are willing to take that first small step.
Good Change Requires a Shift in Thinking
Every good thing that has come to me has come after I made a shift in my thinking. It is how we think about a situation that makes it possible for us to change. When I was in high school I was fairly shy, despite my involvement in speech and drama. In my senior year, the Thespian Society members gave me a Best Actress Award. That was a huge boost to my confidence and led me to believe later, that if I could be that good, maybe I could also be good enough to become a modern dancer and dance with a company.
A few years ago, as a relationship was ending, I suddenly became aware of the fact that this man was so much like my father in his stubbornness and his inability to understand how his unwillingness to compromise created problems between us. Like my father, he was emotionally shut down. As I looked at him from this perspective, I saw more negative points of comparison. It was startling! How could I be so blind! I thought I had worked through these issues.
We Can Learn From Positive and Negative Experiences
While winning the Best Actress Award was a positive event that motivated me, the ending of a relationship was a negative event, and yet, it motivated me to heal and let go of an old pattern that was limiting my life. We can learn from the positive and negative. Taking the time to heal these old patterns has allowed me to attract a man into my life who has none of my father’s negative characteristics. The work that I’ve done in the last two years cleared out past issues and opened a space for a more fulfilling love to appear.
Wherever we are in this spiritual journey to experience fullness of life, we must know that we are meant to live in peace, love, and joy. Our purpose here is to expand our lives through experiencing these qualities, and it is our responsibility to do the work that will take us to a fuller life. May whatever you need for your journey, show up.
© 2013 Georganne Spruce ZQT4PQ5ZN7F5
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