I can mainly think of two ways to throw life away:
- Consciously, by taking action and leave the planet at once
- Subconsciously by not living life to its fullest
Thoughts on option #2
I see many people who have “settled” – simply by accepting various limitations for their lives. They justify it by the circumstances they are or were in.
- Some of us accept to live in dysfunctional family situations – temporarily or permanently.
- Some of us spend big portions of their lives watching TV – knowing that this is part of a passive, not an active lifestyle.
- Some of us simply stop taking care of ourselves – without without ever finding the strength to turn things around again.
- Some of us have dreams for their future and let others talk them out of it.
- Some people have tons of children and are stuck for life (I know this is a highly controversial subject).
- Some of us stop challenging themselves intellectually – knowing that their brain will loose lots of its power if it doesn’t get some exercise here or then.
- Some of us take the route of using drugs – in many cases to numb the pain of not being able to deal with real life. If life would be great it wouldn’t have to be numbed, right?
I am asking myself: Do things really have to be that way? How different would our world be if more people would break their chains and life their lives with less limitations?
Living a free live is very challenging. It requires to ignore the norm and not live by someone else’s standards. The norm has mostly lead to belittling people and prevents them from experimenting and even developing their dreams. Following them is even further away for most of us.
For those of us who think it doesn’t apply to them:
- Do you really live your own dream or someone else’s?
- Have your dreams been handed to you by others?
- Have marketers created ideals for you to aim after?
If your dream is to live vicariously through others (i.e. your children) I would challenge you to get a fresh perspective on what else really matters in your life. Living for or through someone else bears the risk of feeling great emptiness at one point.
Do I need a reality check?
Of course we all need to take care of our needs, have to earn a living and obey the law. But society has put a lot of other rules on us beyond the necessary basics that could be questioned by someone who wants to set themselves free. The main religions come to my mind as major forces that limit us in our freedom. Even though I am not part of any of them I am being haunted almost every day by their presence.
Many of us are afraid to hear the “You just don’t do that!”. Instead of provoking a discussion by simply asking: “Why not? Please explain!” we have learned to simply accept to be put back into our place.
How about a woman encountering an attractive man and straight forwardly asking if he wants to have sex with her? Don’t we just all think she is either easy, a slut or a hooker? What if she simply approaches her sexual life with a different paradigm than most of us do? Is that really something to judge or despise? If you are that good looking guy you can always say no and that’s just that.
Don’t we encounter a lot of limitations – starting within our heads – when it comes to really close relationships and parts of our life we consider to be highly private?
How about someone choosing to live without electric energy and running water in our civilized world? Maybe this person doesn’t even own a computer or a phone and doesn’t have a credit card. Maybe he/she is more in touch with life than many of us are. He might be more free than many of us because he doesn’t really owe anything to anyone and got rid of a ton of obligations. My former landlord in Luxembourg actually lived like that. He was an extreme character but certainly didn’t accept any of the limitations society tried to put on him.
Maybe he is a true social media guru – simply by completely ignoring it. Wait…I didn’t just say that;-)
These might be two rather odd examples but hopefully you can see my point: Many of us settle and at the same time we give up the option to live the life we might have dreamed of when we were young. A more or less passive lifestyle is becoming the routine. At the end people die with a list of unfulfilled dreams – without ever really having tried to persuade them.
I think our world would be a much better (and crazier) place with more people following their intuitions and making some more spontaneous and irrational decisions in line with their dreams and desires.
The big challenge for us is not to settle once we have fulfilled one or two of our dreams but to keep chasing for more. There is always something else to dream of. That could serve as a big driver for all of us to truly stay alive.
Option #2 – The other way of throwing your life away
Some of us reach a point in our life’s where we become overwhelmingly desperate, feel unbearable pain or simply stop recognizing the value of life. Once we feel we are past a point of no return some of us might think about and actually commit suicide. I understand people who are terminally ill and wish to end their life due to their physical pain and limitations.
As for everyone else:
I wish I’d have the opportunity with each single one of them and try to talk them out of it. This might well be the only life we have on this planet. We don’t really know at this point how well reincarnation works or what hell/heaven might look like. Suicide means taking a pretty big chance here.
Every day on this planet has something to offer. It is simply a matter of finding the right paradigm. Seeing the simple things in life is an art many of us have lost.
Did you ever really enjoy a cup of coffee?
I used to make it a real ritual and enjoyed everything from pouring the cream, adding the sugar, stirring it and just muse a little while drinking it. That is just one little example of how I can make myself happy.
Or how about making someone else smile?
It could be the cashier at the grocery store. At that time you added something good to the community. This person might pass on the smile.
Can you see how these little things can make a difference?
If we’d only think in major milestones we’d all have plenty of reasons to be depressed all the time. Things go wrong. We face injustice. We do get hurt. We feel loss and pain. At these times it might be hard to see the upside. Maybe this is just a moment to stay put and breathe? And have the confidence that better moments are hiding around the corner.
I have first hand experience with both forms of throwing my life away. I got stuck in a routine life that led me to give up a good part of who I am. I also reached a point in my life where I was stupid enough to try the other option I just mentioned. Fortunately I really sucked at it and am still around. I would have thrown away countless beautiful days of my life and the opportunity to inspire and sharewith others. My story presented in the post to come on this blog should make a good case. Throwing your life away means you are selling yourself short. This applies to both – the conscious and the unconscious variation.
I know what my needs and desires are and I pledged to myself to keep them present. I keep checking in with myself to realize when they do change. Of course I don’t always get what I want. I will not deny having dreams and won’t stop striving to fulfill them for myself. This is something that keeps me highly alive. Got that?