"Live the life you've imagined." Henry David Thoreau
What does this even mean? What do you think? Is there one life we’ve imagined? What about the fact the life we imagine changes 100x over again as we grow up, as we learn, as our passions & interests change or develop, as we grow wiser, smarter. For a long time I struggled with this quote.. I saw it for face value. I focused on what material life I imagined... How much money I would make, what cars I would drive, what job I would have, would I afford several vacations every year, did I live on my simple house with lots of land, was I married? Did I have kids? ..... And on and on.... but when I really sit with this quote and think about what the “life I’ve imagined” really means to me... my entire perspective changes... My focus is not only on the life I’ve imagined but the life I am imagining....My focus is on my wisdom, my spirituality, my being-ness.
I imagine living a life of service, giving and serving those I love, while also learning how to serve & love those that are often difficult to love. I imagine a life where I make sure that I am always 100% by taking care of and nurturing myself first so that I can be my very best for everyone else. At the same time, remembering to be selfless in my thoughts, and to be compassionate toward the needs of others, to not live a world that is me-me-me. Remembering that at the end of the day, none of it is for me anyhow - it is for God’s glory. I imagine living and loving openly, free of fear in all forms. I imagine living by example and being there to support and encourage all growth from others, but remembering to not push too hard, or judge, or expect anyone else to see things the way I do, because my way is only one way of knowing (it isn’t the only ‘right’ way or even the best way). I imagine being open minded, open to possibility, and learning from others who have so much to offer me too.
I imagine this all, but am I currently living it all? No, I am a work in progress. We all are...works in progress. Waking up every day, breathing, living, learning, growing, making mistakes, having realizations, bonding, connecting, thriving, hurting, loving, evolving, and progressing.
But am I often to hard on myself still? Yes, every day. Although, through my Bible study I learned that God isn’t in a hurry for us to grow. We have a predetermined amount of time on Earth and we get to use this whole time to grow spiritually, to learn, to make mistakes, to learn from those mistakes, to apply new ways of being, and to continue to learn and evolve some more. Only WE are in a hurry. Only we have this need to be perfect now. Only we feel we should look a certain way, act a certain way, be a certain way, succeed in a certain way now. Only we get mad when we still are less then perfect, because in God’s eyes, we have always been... perfect. I have to remind myself to every day wake up and set a goal to 1. appreciate, and 2. focus on being the best I can be in that moment. IF I am less then best, what can I learn from my experience and grow from it.