Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Merely Existing OR Truly Living?" (Conclusion)

"Merely Existing OR Truly Living?" (Conclusion)


As I conclude my thoughts on the topic of "Merely Existing OR Truly Living?" I hope that you have really taken a close and serious look at your life and asked yourself that very question in regards to your own life.

"As long as there is breath there is hope" has been one of my sayings that I have shared many times in the past and I know I will continue to share it many times in the future. The premise simply being that, as long as you are alive, there is ALWAYS the potential to improve your situation and make things better.

Are you ALIVE?

Are you LIVING?

No, I don't mean purely in the physical sense. I'm not asking if you have a heartbeat as you read this. (It would be quite a story if you DIDN'T have a heartbeat as you were reading this!).

In yesterday's blog I closed out with this quote that also came from the movie, "Tuck Everlasting"... "Don't be afraid of death but rather be afraid of the unlived life."

What do you think of when you think of living a life without regrets?

Is it simply trying to live life without doing much of anything wrong and, if you DID do something wrong, making sure that you reconciled the situation as much as possible?

For me, when I think of the idea of "living life without regrets" DOES take the previous thought into account BUT, in my mind, there is so much more to the equation. Let me explain...

I DO NOT want to come to the end of my life and have a long list of "what ifs" or "I wonder's". Do you understand what I mean?

I don't want to still ask myself, "What IF..." I had done this or that. I don't want to be wondering what would have happened IF I had stepped out - in spite of the fear and the unknown - and followed my heart and/or my dream.

Fear is truly an amazing emotion.

Think about this - fear can make you move like you've never moved before! For me, that type of strong emotion comes if I come across a snake unexpectedly. For example, my wife and I were walking a few years ago and it was just about getting dark when a very small (but still very poisonous) copperhead snake cross right between our feet. I didn't see it but I didn't HAVE to see it when I heard her say, "There's a snake!" Friend, she didn't yell it, she didn't say it with excitement. She said it in a very normal and calm voice. But, for me, it didn't matter! I didn't have to see the snake or know where it was. All I had to do was hear the words, "There's a snake!" and I was IMMEDIATELY "high-stepping" and doing it quickly! (Stop laughing!). Yes, she laughed hard and long at my immediate reaction to the situation but I really had NO CONTROL over my actions. FEAR MOVED ME to MOVE and to do so QUICKLY!

Now, let's look at a different scenario. Thank goodness I've not really had this one happen to me, but let's say I'm walking through the back yard and I come upon an adult copperhead that is coiled up and ready to strike. Very likely the very same emotion of FEAR that caused me to move and move quickly in the previous example would likely cause me to FREEZE in my tracks and make it to where I couldn't move no matter how badly I wanted to.

Same emotion with two different reactions.

Which will you allow into your life?

Will you allow the FEAR of the "unknown" or the FEAR that comes from past failures cause you to "freeze in your tracks" and keep you from making any more progress in your life? Go back and look at the examples I used yesterday about over-protective parents and realize that FEAR can definitely put us in the category of "merely existing" instead of "truly living".

Or, perhaps, you will allow the FEAR of dying with regrets ("what ifs" and "I wonder's") push you forward REGARDLESS of the past failures or the fact that you are not sure of what may happen.

Which ever form of that fear is the greatest will determine your action.

Yes, fear CAN be a great motivator and, if that is what it takes to get you started, then let that fear of dying with regrets get you going.

Then, guess what? You will begin to see that there was nothing to fear in the first place (as far as "the unknown") and you will begin to LIVE life and cease to merely exist.

Oh, I'm sure that we ALL will die with SOME regrets when it comes to an "unfinished list of things to do and see". But, just think of how wonderful it will be to look at that list (even if it's in our head) and KNOW that we sure enjoyed living life as we checked off as many as we could!


And it all starts right now. Today.

Until next time...

"Be sure to make it an AWESOME day! (Who else is going to do it for you?)"



  1. These questions are a lot for me to grasp. I don't know if it is because I am a simpleton or blonde....haha j/k It is hard to juggle the day to day as it is and to really feel like you are doing everything that could be done to feel fulfilled...yikes. I have some serious regrets about things I have done and I am working on making myself ok with my past decisions by learning from them but it is really really hard. There is a little evil voice that tries to bring me down. This will take time but I am working on it. I just hope that when I kick the bucket I will have lived a full and satisfying life.

  2. Tanya....It's all a process, don't ever forget that. As many have said before, aim for 1% improvement each day. You know, the "slow and steady progress" thing.
    As far as your is just that, in the PAST. Learn from it? Sure, if possible.
    Please DO NOT listen to that "little voice" that wants to bring you down...that "little voice" belongs to "you-know-who" and will only drag you down where you don't belong.
    Easier said than done? Of course. But it IS doable one day at a time.
    I appreciate your sharing, Tanya!