In the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.Abraham Lincoln
There is a striving for the extending of life. From gene therapy and pioneering medical advances, to beauty products that claim to holt the signs of visible aging, and fitness regimes to keep the body fit. There are also ways to keep the mind healthy, such as meditation, brain puzzles and the never ending possibilities that come from continual learning. As humans the quest to immortality has been the subject of many films, books and legends.
However the inevitable lies before us all, that the circle of life comes to an end. Sometimes life is a short, sometimes it is many years, however the question is, what are you filling those years with?
There seems to be an endless pursuit of happiness. A quest that is sought by many, but not always attained. Like an elusive treasure it will be searched for often at great cost, but lie buried never to be found. Some seek it in possessions, others attaining position and status, while for some it is spirituality that they look to for bringing meaning to life.
Why does it seem that finding happiness and fulfillment in life seems so hard?
Im sure you will agree that life can become stagnant. As day to day we are working, caring for our families and trying to manage all the challenges that come our way. Life instead of being full and enjoyable can instead become a source of anxiety, or cause us to feel frustrated or low. Just trying provide what we need financially can be a struggle, economic and social difficulties can be a plague that many feel they can’t escape.
Sometimes life doesn’t play out how we had planned, maybe we didn’t find the job we loved like we thought we would, or maybe love hasn’t been the kindest of friends. It could be ill health is a daily companion, or we mourn the loss of loved ones. Maybe a past that we find it hard to escape, or heal from. It is an understatement that life can be difficult.
How then can we live a life that is full, that allows us to find a form of happiness and also cope with its many challenges?
The answer lies within our ability to understand that our life has to be nurtured. This isn’t easy and requires us to take responsibility for our life. Unhealthy situations, people that hurt us or the choices we make can mean the difference between a life that we are nurturing or a life that we are neglecting. Making sure that we are providing what we need to grow, setting healthy boundaries and making wise choices means life will be something we are seeking to improve rather than complicate.
What about the pain that we may experience due to others, or experiences we encounter? These need time and space to be acknowledged and healed. This is hard and yet possible. Healing and allowing our past to inform us, instead of define us will allow for building a life that nurtures us and then allows for growth. Too often our past can be like a heavy weight that we carry with us, it influences our choices both in the present but also the future. It can hold us back, believe unhealthy thoughts about our self or the world and what we can achieve.
What of growth? Well just like plants need the right environment to grow, so do we. Growth can take many forms but would include us supporting our self to have a life that is full and has meaning. Growth means opening up to new possibilities, taking responsibility for our choices and taking action were needed to support building the life we want. It means hard work, hard choices and allowing for new possibilities.
We need to ask what are we doing to nurture, heal and grow? Do we find ways to care for ourselves physically and emotionally? Do we sabotage ourselves with poor choices? Do we allow our past to be a part of our present?
It is possible to have a life that whether long or short in years is full and meaningful. Where we are able to cope with life’s challenges, while building a better life for us and our families.
Are you finding the Life within your Years?