Life. It’s a big word, isn’t it? How we live it, and all that “Life” implies, it’s truly all-encompassing; the journey we take from birth and beyond; from our first tooth to our first visit from the Tooth Fairy – even our first visit to the dentist, oh the horror! (Well, for me anyway); the first day of school to graduation; our first love to our true love; our first job to the job we were destined to have; marriage; children; grandchildren; and everything in between…. a lifetime of milestones and memories, firsts and lasts, from your perspective and the perspective of those who love you dearly and experience these steps by your side.
But life isn’t only measured by the big landmark moments, it’s everything we do; turning left at the light instead of right; allowing the old lady at the store to cut in line because she only has one packet of butterscotch candies to purchase; leaving home just those ten minutes later and getting that perfect parking spot at your favorite restaurant or avoiding the car accident you just bypassed. Nothing we do is too small, or irrelevant. Nothing is inconsequential, every moment counts. And every choice we make takes us on the journey we need, whether or not we are able to accept that notion.
In life, people tend to either take themselves too seriously, or not seriously enough. While neither is a balanced perspective, it’s the latter that I find the most destructive. When we do not believe that what we do is important, or bears impact on the world or others, this means that on some level we believe what we do and say doesn’t matter or influence anyone either positively or negatively. When we stop taking account of our actions, the result is often damaging – mostly to ourselves, because we aren’t living a conscious life.
When we do not take our thoughts, feelings and the choices that we make seriously, and consequently do not honor our feelings and hold ourselves accountable to exactly what they are, then we tend to act without integrity.
What you DO matters. In every perceived little moment, the way you choose to be truly matters; the thoughts you have, the words you speak, the things you feel, and the actions you take all have an influence on the quality of your life and those around you. It doesn’t mean you won’t doubt yourself, that’s human nature, but it does mean that you will take yourself, your Light, your essence, your potential and your possible impact on others more seriously than your doubts and limited thinking would ever allow you to. Life is more than pure chance; it is the sum of a series of choices, and we cannot escape the consequences of the way we choose to live.
I know what some of you may be thinking, and yes, while we may not be able to control what happens to us, we certainly can choose to control our reactions.
How are you living your life? Does self-doubt govern your choices? Or are you honoring your spirit and living the life you are meant to live AT ALL COSTS? Are you putting forth your best effort to make the consequences of your actions something that will make you feel good about yourself and happy?
And if you answered “no” to the last two questions, are you at least able to be honest enough with yourself to understand that the only thing keeping you from the life you want are your feelings of self-doubt and sabotaging yourself, as well as your lack of certainty in life’s master plan?
There was an interesting segment on the Today Show about women and why they tend to not speak up in a group setting. According to a recent study led by scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, a group setting can actually lower the IQ scores of some people, particularly in women because females have a tendency to be more sensitive to social cues, and more likely to worry about the perceptions of others.
Ultimately, some great ideas and desire aren’t being shared because there is a lack of courage and self-doubt wins out. However, we have the ability to harness this evolutionary tendency and use it to our advantage, enabling us to be stronger communicators because we know that we are picking up on these cues better, which ideally empowers us to be that much more impactful.
I want you to know and always remember that you have a very powerful influence on the world in which you live, and on the life you experience. Live as though everything matters, because it does, but don’t take everything personally and as a blow to your ego. Have integrity and treat yourself and others with respect and don’t waste a second of your life on what truly, at the end of the day, doesn’t matter. Things that we LET make us very angry or deeply sad, in the end affect us on such a cellular level that we end up living a very different life from the one we actually want and would rather choose. Whether you drive a second-hand Mazda or a brand new BMW; whether you wear clothes from Old Navy or Gucci; those things don’t really matter, what matters is how you feel about yourself and how much energy you invest in your greatest asset – your soul.
Invest in your soul, because in the end you don’t leave with “things” or “peoples’ opinions of you” but rather with your essence and your spirit and what you have invested in it. As the great kabbalist Rav Brandwein said, “the soul is like the body, if you don’t feed it, it doesn’t grow.”
- Do you feel that you pay the price for your actions, or that you reap their rewards?
- Do you make every moment count?
- If not, why? Is it because you do not believe you deserve a happy and fulfilled life?
- Are you living the life you are destined to live?
If you answered “no” to the questions above, start by STARTING.