Live Your Life
“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” -Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau wrote the following quote in the mid 1800s. Today the quote would probably be, “How vain it is to post your opinions and advice when you have not put down your phone to go live your life.”
The world seems to be full of advice givers, who don’t actually look like they are living healthy lives or don’t appear to have lived enough life to give any type of advice. Quite frankly, not only am I insulted by the advice being given, but most of the time I am insulted by the one giving advice. Have you ever really looked at the person giving advice? Do you know them? Are they telling the entire truth about themselves and their lives or is their advice just some piece of information disconnected from the whole truth? Have you asked any questions about these people? Are they healthy, balanced, and where does their advice come from? Have they spent years or any real time living what they are often selling? Are they telling the whole truth and does this truth include experience that shares all the good, bad and ugly?
I say all of this, because I am tired of all the advice and advice givers. Most advice is a distraction from the truth that we desperately need to transform our lives. Given our epidemics of loneliness, anxiety and diet-related disease and sickness, it is clear that we need more than advice givers, we need truth tellers. After 44 years of life, I have noticed that the people, who have lived life and are honest about the life they have lived, don’t usually give life advice and they certainly do not sell advice attached to a formula. Instead, the wise people I know are careful to be nothing more than humble guides, who graciously and gracefully share their truth (their experience, strength and hope) free of charge. These well lived people are easy to find because they are usually the most loving people. They are helpers, encouragers and restorers, and creators of places where we can find rest and nourishment.
I used to be an advice giver, a seller of the formula and a person without a lot of experience, strength and hope, but living life changes you and here I am humbled by life, love and truth. I am 44, I have lived a lot of life and still not enough life to go back to giving advice. Instead, I offer you some basic truths that I hope will set you free to go live life. I offer these truths, with hope that you will stop listening to advice, and trying to live in formulas to get life; and you will courageously step out into this mysterious life with nothing more than a willingness to pursue truth and love with all your spirit, heart, mind and body.
I hope these truths will encourage, inspire and protect you. Here you go!
First, no one can live your life. Your life must be lived by you. In saying this. Whatever you do, you will look back and regret something. I know this, I am 44. I have raised 3 kids. I have lived life and I have lots of regrets, as I am sure everyone who has lived life and who dares to be honest, will say...they have regrets too.
Kids, no kids, early marriage, late marriage, no marriage, career, stay at home mom, religion, no religion...whatever. You will have regrets and this is normal. The one thing I ask is that you go live, go freaking do something and put your whole self into, live for something, sacrifice for someone or something, sweat, cry, bleed for someone and something. Have something that you can look back and regret and also thank God for. Regrets are good bc they are terribly truth telling. See, I had kids really early. I don’t regret these amazing gifts at all. They were my life and I failed them, miserably in many ways. I wish I could have done a lot of things differently. I am glad I cannot go back and do it again, because I would probably screw up more, thinking I know so much more now than then. This thinking is arrogant.
Regrets and all, I can see that my life is working out exactly as it should. I didn’t lose myself when I had kids, because I never knew who I was before I had kids. I was mom and looking back that was probably all I could handle. Whatever happened the last 44 years was exactly what needed to happen for me to know who I am today and to get to this point to tell the truth to you, and hopefully encourage you to go live life.
Trust me life is traumatic. It’s messy, hard and hurtful out there but it’s amazing. It bends and breaks you but that’s what it was designed to do, because we are some selfish know-it-alls, who think we can bend and shape life to our wills and to glorify us. Lol. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
My only advice to you, is to dig in. If you are a human than be a human. If you are a Christian, than be a Christian. If you are a vegan, than be a vegan. If you are a environmentalist, than be one with all your spirit, heart, mind, soul and strength. And, if you just want be a consumer, than just be one and stop acting like you are anything else but a consumer with “options”. Whatever you do, go do it. But for the love of God, go do it for 10-15 years before you give advice on how to do it or try to sell it as some “how to avoid real life” formula.
Of course, I want you to be the person you are designed to be, know your purpose and be a healthy human being but you are never going to figure that out until you do something and then tell the whole truth about it. You are designed to be life, and you are designed to live life. It’s best to be a healthy human being, who knows how to love and care for yourself well, before you try to help others live their life. So, get healthy. Nourish and love yourself well and then do likewise for your neighbor.
Create the space to remember who you are and how you are naturally designed to live life as a human being and let the natural forces of life reveal and uncover the gifts that you have to give to the world. No more advice, just live and tell the truth. Please be more than a consumer. Be a receiver and giver of life, love, hope, truth and goodness.