Are You Living Or Surviving?

I understand that we have things to do in the morning, places to be and bills to pay. I also know that each thing we do we created that reality. We applied for the jobs that we did because we made a decision earlier on to, based on a number of reasons. Very few people can say that they applied for a job, just because s/he wanted to.

This last part seems like a luxury most people cannot afford, the luxury of applying for a job, just because s/he wanted to. Not wanted it but wanted to. What is the difference? The difference is in surviving or living. With the one life that you have, are you living or surviving? Do you know that you do not get to do this over again?

We all have dreams and plans for the moment and immediate future, plans that are geared toward stability, prosperity and happiness, the latter obtained in the acquisition of the first two. Most people are happy with good families, jobs, a roof over their head, food on the table, aspiring children and happy times with friends. We are all aware of misfortunes and hard times on our lives, no one is exempt from the pitfalls of life, and in these times, have managed to survive, the best way we knew how.

When most of us die, we would like to be remembered as having lived a full and good life, with surviving members and contributions to the home, perhaps community and society. We have ideas about the contributions that we make and hope that they are reminiscent of our existing lives. Some of us do not care to be remembered, and would sooner hope that there is no fuss over our deathbed and graves. For both cases, this will probably work out to be so. We are in fact, equipped to become authors of our lives, under God’s publishing house. It can be as we say it will be, for as long as we refuse to state otherwise.

While we live out the lives our families, communities and society prescribe for us, we turn on the tube, the radio and the fourth estates, to observe on the happenings of the world around us. Society teaches us that this is the act of gaining knowledge, a “networking” of sorts with the global village that is our world. We narrow our scope of what we read and listen to based on what we are interested in, however, we fail to acknowledge this limiting of information to ourselves, always working on the supposition that we are knowledge seekers, and have a good understanding of how the world works.

We form opinions of those who do not seem to share the same tastes as our own, more often passing judgement than actually listening to what those interests are, in an attempt to understand. We express our own ignorance through comments we proudly verbalize, that others internally cringe on our behalf. Even those that cringe are not understanding our world as we see it.

It is an endless cycle of people speaking and not listening, taking and not sharing, assuming and not asking, deflating and not encouraging. This cycle confirms that we will always do things because we are supposed to,have to and were told to, not because these things are innately in us and flow effortlessly from us, as only something natural would.

We are always afraid of failure, but not of our own.

We are afraid of our loved ones’ failures, of disappointing our loved ones’, of public shame and embarrassment. The questions what if I don’t succeed? has little to do with our own capabilities than it does with the myriad of voices in and around our head. More detrimental than a sarcastic comment from a stranger, is the soft put down from a loved one. When we speak of our dreams, desires and ambitions, we see what others cannot see, and this is true to all humans.

When we speak of them to loved ones, more than a series of questions and opinions, we seek an affirmation. Not that this is required to proceed to the next plan, or that without this that the person’s dream is rendered null and void in his/her heart. We seek the affirmation because humans are interconnected people, who operate out of communities, however we determine these communities to be. We are in effect, asking for a community blessing, when we speak of our heart’s desires.

In not understanding what we are saying, doing or going, we may interpret this as looking for validation or approval, when in fact, what we are doing, is a sort of, “I am departing from the path that everyone has set for me, and embarking on my own journey”, much as we would rise from a couch at a person’s home that we have visited and state that we will be leaving shortly. We are not looking for a transportation to our home, bath and bed, rather, at that moment, we are looking for the owner to rise from the couch, acknowledge that we are leaving, and escort us to the door or at least make some mention about the visit or bid a farewell.

If in this scenario the house owner endeavours to let us know that we should not leave and the dangers that face us outside, s/he is reflecting his/her fears for our safe travel. Remember by virtue of getting up and stating that we were leaving, we had already determined our path. Whereas we may not know the avenue and community as well as our house owner does, by imposing his/her safety value, s/he has effectively undermined our innate ability to know deep in our gut whether something is right/wrong, our own mental and heart compass whose reasons are only known to us. By letting us know why we should not leave, as opposed to that we should not leave, the house owner is advising us of his/her perceived dangers, experience, and ultimately trusting that we are equipped to handle the consequences of our own decisions.

We may say that there are plenty of people out there who are no good, and who need constant supervision, because every decision they make, other than while they are asleep, is detrimental to self and community (family etc). We are not their God. By assuming that we are their saviour we take on a god like persona that habitates between narcissism and other loathing. It will not matter what the individual does, we will be apt to find something wrong with the picture, for we are used to cleaning up his/her mess.

Not only are we not God, but we did not help the individual move away from the state of being. When one receives recurring and resounding convictions from trusted individuals on the lack there of, the inabilities, the mistakes and the regrets etc, the individual shuts off and down the part of his/her soul that believes, feels and breathes, because it hurts too much to care what people think and say, and most importantly, what their eyes tell you they believe about you.

The part that is shut down is supposed to be the innate antenna, the compass and dictionary, that leads each of us to our own special purpose in our lives. Not as we or society intend it, but as God prescribed. In the heart of a cold, cruel and calculating world, He input a treasure inside each of us that nothing and no one in the world can touch.

This treasure is so unique that it can only be turned off and down by the one who possesses it, not a soul and not a thing in this world has been given the power to take your dream away from you. Not even you. You can only turn it off or turn it down because you allowed what/how others perceive you to dictate the terms of your survival.

Once this unique gift is turned off, we cease to become authors of our lives, and take on the role of volunteer, volunteering our life, ambitions, dreams and ideas away, in hopes of acquiring happiness and fulfillment in the trade that our loved ones, and well meaning strangers lovingly threw our way. Those living out their dreams are said to possess things that we could never hope to have.

That is not true. That compass in them magnified is what they possess. It resides in each and every one of us. Once activated, it takes a life of its own. Once God commands your steps at your acknowledgement that you want to pursue the callings of your heart, no one and nothing in this world can stop you…but you.
Are You Living Or Surviving?

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