From : http://www.thebridgemaker.com/how-to-live-passionately-and-not-simply-survive/
How to Live Passionately and Not Simply SurviveLife can be unpredictable and can often disappoint when it does not follow our plan. Jobs are lost, marriages end and people become ill and die before we thought we would lose them. However, faith tells us there can meaning to everything that happens; and there can even be meaning for the things which seem to happen only to us when we choose not to simply survive life, but to live it with passion.
Our lives happen quickly. I turned 47-years-old a few days ago and this birthday has hit me particularly hard. The awareness my life is likely more than half over and my 50s will be here before I know it, has given me reason to take an account of how I want to spend the time I have left.
My plan isn’t to simply survive this time, but to take my remaining years and make them the best yet. The things I have learned about myself, as well as the things I wish I had never learned, all point to one simple, but powerful truth for me: No matter what has happened, or what will happen, my life is more fulfilling when it is lived with passion.
Passion for what I believe and passion to be the best person I can be for my wife and children provide the power to look at what’s ahead with hope and excitement. When bad things happen and times become tough, it is how we adapt to change that will keep our hearts open and free to live with passion – no matter what.
Ten Truths of Change
Change in our lives can be an unwelcome guest, but when change is over and has left, we can be in a better place than before its visit. The result of change can keep us stuck in a surviving mode; or it can give us the energy to look forward to what’s next.
Understanding the power of change can reveal significant truths about its purpose. These ten truths of change have brought me comfort during difficult times and have pointed the way to living, and not simply surviving.
- Don’t be a passive passenger to the past.
Certain events or experiences from our childhood can make a lasting impact. As we grow older, our mistakes and the harm done along the way can also leave its mark. We often miss what’s happening right before us because we are still travelling in the past. The truth is we cannot undo our past, but we can choose our present. Acknowledge your past and at the same time keep learning to let it go so you can better embrace what you have today.
- By grace you are healed.
No matter the sins committed against you or the ones you own, when you find the faith to believe in God’s grace you will find healing. Allow His grace to fill you with a newfound passion and energy to live the life you deserve.
- The truth sets you free.
To be free we must first acknowledge our truth. Perhaps it’s too difficult or embarrassing to accept that truth; or it requires making a change we do not want to make. Until we can accept our truth we will always be a prisoner to the things which keep us from fully living. Take an honest look at your truths and what’s keeping you stuck in a place lacking the passion you are seeking. For me, it’s my level of self-confidence and worthiness. There are so many things I want to accomplish. And even though I’m making progress, I will not realize all that is in my heart until I begin to feel worthy of receiving them.
The truth is, what will set me free, once and for all, is to believe I deserve good things to happen to me, too.
- It’s not what happens to us.
For most, what has happened to us (or is happening to us) is a direct of result of our actions and the choices we made. However, it is important to acknowledge that are many victims (children, women and men) who did not ask for, or deserve, their circumstances. No matter what has happened, every day we get a new choice of deciding how to live that day. We can seek forgiveness, counseling, or spiritual care. There are resources available to match every need.
If you are having a difficult time finding the resources you need (because of their availability in your community or for financial reasons), please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can assist you. All you have to do is ask for help and you will receive it.
- Happy in spite of.
I wish I was better-looking, had an Ivy League education and the ability to do whatever I wanted without the need to generate income. But you what? I’m still happy in spite of what I don’t have. I have found its better to measure happiness by taking an inventory of what I do have (excellent health, a wonderful family, the money to pay my bills plus a little left over) than to consider what I don’t have. This is a much more positive unit of measurement and opens myself up to receiving more of the same.
We can find happiness in spite of how inconvenient certain situations appear to be when we begin to understand we are the creators of our own happiness based on how we choose to react and respond to the truths which exists around us.
- Blind faith gets results.
The expression, “Burn the boats,” demonstrates blind faith. This phrase can be traced back to the ancient Greek warriors and their commanders who would give the order to “Burn the boats” after the warriors had landed on the enemy’s shore. The commanders’ message was simple: We know we will be victorious, so we don’t need the boats anymore, because there will be no need to retreat. Our faith tells us we will win.
Burn the Boats reminds us that to live passionately means we don’t have a lot of time for negative thinking. We have to put our trust in our faith and understand there is no turning back when we make the commitment to live our life on our terms.
With this awareness, with this truth, we can place our fear, anxiety and self-doubt on those boats and watch and as they sink and disappear from our sight.
- There is always an answer.
No matter what happens, there is an answer. Travelling through the darkness there is a light ahead. Its power to illuminate may be weak and unnoticeable at first, because we may not be looking for it, but it is there, waiting for us. In the light there is an answer; and in the answer is truth.
- Believe what you affirm.
We can make it happen when we believe, really believe, in what we are doing and when we think big. Thinking big is acknowledging the abundance in our lives. This type of thinking can make our dreams a reality. When faith is added to the mix, we create a winning combination. For example, if there is a cause or a project you have always wanted to support, consider how deeply you believe in the cause and then find a way to make it happen.
Consider your resources, the abundance in your life, which will help begin your work. By using what you have (time, money, faith) you will be able to set into motion an active attempt to believe, and live, what you affirm.
- All things ready when the mind be so.
We don’t do anything until we are ready. We don’t start or end jobs, fall in love or live a passionate life until we are good and ready to do so. The key in the readiness process is coming to terms, in our own minds, that it’s time to begin. This discernment process is critical when determining if we want to do something because we have a deep conviction, or because we think we just should.
Here’s the truth for me: When I get something on my mind, and after sorting through all of the pros and cons, if I still believe in going forward and have made ready my mind, body and soul, then, and only then, will it happen for me.
- The power in you.
Life challenges us every day. We face disappointment, conflict, and pain. We also have the opportunity to feel the love that life provides. When we choose the latter, we choose to tap into the greatest power we possess – the power of love. Love comes in many shapes and sizes. There is love in greeting each day with the hope and promise we can make whatever we want from the day. There is love in our daily routines of raising our children, supporting our spouses, and there is love in following our hearts to wherever they are taking us.
The power of love reminds us we are never alone and our lives, like our souls, have a purpose and in that purpose we will find the passion that is uniquely our own.
The death of my mother in April has provided me with some motivation to begin living. As long as she lived I would always be reminded of what I, and my siblings, had to do in order to survive. Her dependency on alcohol, pain killers and her bi-polar episodes all contributed to a sense of uncertainty and chaos – two things no child should endure.
I survived the days by keeping to myself, staying out of the way and trying to do everything perfectly in an attempt to neutralize her behavior. Some habits, once established, are hard to change.
To claim my life, it’s time for change; it’s time to shift from trying to survive each day without making mistakes and to believing the passion that exists in my heart is meant to be shared with anyone who wants to receive it.
I’m writing these final sentences on my actual birthday (Sunday, July 5) on the deck of my house and alone. Mary Beth and Emily are still in Virginia, Andrew spent the night with friends and Brandon and Caitlin will be here later in the afternoon. I have never been alone on my birthday, but this is how it should be right now.
I have spent a lot of time alone the past few weeks. This has given me the opportunity to focus on what I want and on what I think I’m worthy of receiving. Our normal family routine has been interrupted by my wife’s recovery. Ironically, this time has served as a recovery period for me as well.
This time has given me the opportunity to realize my first 47 years did happen quickly. Today, however, I get to choose how I want to spend the next 47 years. Today is a marker for me, a starting point, a new beginning to shake off the tendency to survive and to truly live and to love myself a little more each day.
This time next week I will not be alone. Mary Beth and I will probably have coffee on the deck before leaving for church, Emily will be watching the Disney channel and our lives will be returning to the normal.
I think I will be different though. I will enjoy the noise in the house, but also realize it’s up to me, and not those around me, to break out of survival mode and to find the happiness, joy and passion I have been seeking for so long.
I’m beginning to see it now. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present.
There's more article I'm going to copy... as a reminder for me and for your reading pleasure....