Stubbornly living is probably the best description for a neighbour and her approach to life. Diagnosed with terminal cancer, all possible treatments done, she continues to make decisions based on what she wants now and with whatever future remains. While she knows she’s on a faster track to the end than the rest of us, she refuses to lay down and wait. Instead, she stubbornly lives. In fact she continues to live the mantra she taught her daughters, “Don’t wait for someone else to create the life you want.”
Stubbornly lives. There is power in that, don’t you think? Aren’t there times when we would all, at one point or another just …settle? Accept “what is” without questioning “what else”? Would you, if the end was in sight, shrug and say, too late now?
Forget “what is” and ask “what else”
It’s a mistake. Accepting “what is” often happens as a result of sliding into a pattern, without any real thought to when or why it started. Creating goals, envisioning our life over the long-term slides to the back of our decision-making and we accept our lives as “just the way things are.” Stubbornly living challenges the current state of your life and pushes through what others might see as obstacles. If it had a voice, it might well say “move over, there’s a whole lot more for me to do yet!” A life review doesn’t need to come with a diagnosis of a serious health concern. In fact, it can happen as part of an ongoing process.
Take for instance your love relationship, is it unsatisfying? If so, why is it? What exactly is missing for you? Is it something you had and it slipped away with the daily demands of getting things done? There are few things lonelier than being in the same room with someone and feeling as if there is a Grand Canyon of space between you.
Own your life. Show up.
Stubbornly living demands that you sit up and take stock. What interests brought you together? Why did they end and have you searched out alternatives or a new version of that once shared interest? That person you have shared so much with and who now is more housemate than love mate. Maybe you feel as if there isn’t much left to learn. Chances are still good that surprises await, but you have to get out of your own way. Put aside the notion that your choices are limited and instead, begin reaching for what is possible. Start thinking about things that have stirred your curiosity and then take a chance and have the conversation. Own your life, show up .
Single? Consider this. Is there something you haven’t done because of time or money? While real, they are best viewed as challenges. Don’t give them more weight than they deserve or make them excuses for not achieving what you want.
Have you cast yourself into a limited role?
Have you become stuck seeing yourself as a certain type of person who does or doesn’t do certain things. Why is that and where did that image come from? Have you held yourself back, pushed down interests because of external messages about what is acceptable, or worth your time? What areas of your life are waiting for you to stretch or expand ? Are there things worth challenging? What messages have you received and accepted as being truth, without ever really looking at them?
For a long time I gave up many expressions of my feminine side. Some of it was in response to my former partner’s opinions, his poor self-esteem and need for control. As I have returned more to who I was and who I want to become, I have opened my mind to more possibilities and made decisions based on how I would like to feel. I have enjoyed getting comfortable with and developing my personal style. This has meant a change in hair, clothing and yes, even fragrance.
Recently I enjoyed a trip to the perfume counter. Not that long ago I would have felt intimidated. Now, I happily sought out the woman at the counter, trying different scents and finding the one right for me. Every time I use it, it gives me a little lift and a reminder of how I am stepping into my vision for myself. Setting goals, enlarging my idea of who I am and making decisions that will lead me to where I want to go.
Becoming an explorer of your own life
This time of transition, of finding Frances, has meant that I am an explorer of my own life. Willing to challenge the resistance that sometimes pops up, push through old beliefs and see which aspects of my personality I wish to embrace and which I would like to adjust. It has also meant diligently letting go of regret. We all do the best we can at any given time in our lives, especially now as we create the next chapter of our lives.
We can all benefit from the words of the wise woman and indeed live by her example. Go ahead, set some goals, create the life you want and yes, stubbornly live.
Have your own words of wisdom? I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment below.