Have you ever found yourself living a life that you no longer recognize? Sometimes you can get so caught up in doing what you need to do to survive that you’re not even sure how or when your life got off track. You may find yourself struggling to attain goals that still leave you feeling empty. When life becomes overwhelming, we cope by disconnecting from ourselves and placing our focus externally.
If you’re not sure that you’re living a life of purpose, look at where you spend your two most valuable resources… your time and your energy. Those aspects of your life that grab hold of your attention are the areas that consume your time and energy. Acknowledge what is truly important to you and reflect upon how and where you are using your life.
When we get distracted by events, circumstances, or people, our time and energy gets diverted and we can lose sight of what is truly important. When you no longer know what’s important to you, you can easily allow external events and other people to make decisions for you. When we leave our decisions to somebody else, we don’t have to take responsibility for the repercussions that follow. If things don’t work out favourably, we have an external point to place blame upon. There is comfort and safety in avoiding responsibility, but it also stunts your ability to experience life outside your comfort zone. Taking decisive action forces you to become responsible and accountable while simultaneously experiencing the freedom from being dependant on someone or something.
When you allow yourself to be controlled by external factors, you have given up some of your power. Taking back your power can be the most important step toward living YOUR life with meaning and purpose. Yes, you do have to respond to life’s events, but when you consciously decide on your course of action based upon what is right for YOU – you have made an empowered choice.
I learned that I had to take responsibility for my own recovery, following a brain infection that left me paralyzed. When my condition was life-threatening, I was not conscious and all the decisions were left to the doctors. Their courses of action led to my survival. I was going to live, but it was not certain what quality of life I would have. At the beginning of my rehabilitation, I became distracted by the warnings that I may never walk again. I was flatly told that I would never become a chiropractor, which was the career I had been working towards. The life that I was living no longer had any semblance to the life that I had imagined for myself. I became disillusioned and did not have the motivation to will myself to rehabilitate my body. But then, one day, my thoughts shifted and I wondered why I was letting other people tell me what I could and could not do. I decided that this was MY life and if I wanted to live it my way, I would have to decide what I could and could not do. It was not an easy road, by any means, but it was the path that I chose. Making the decision to take back my life gave me the power to face the obstacles I encountered as I regained the ability to walk and to eventually finish my degree and become a practicing chiropractor.
“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” – Anne Sexton