Mahatma Gandhi was once asked by a reporter, “What is your message?” He responded to the reporter by jotting down on a piece of paper, “My life is my message.” Our lives are our message. How we act, what we say and do all reflect the innermost part of ourselves. The way we live reflects our values and tells others who we are and what we believe.
Some people have things together and it is well reflected in their lives. Their joy is contagious and happiness seems to come naturally to them. They do good deeds for others and have goals and ambitions. They believe in themselves and living a life of love. They understand the importance of self-love and first receiving love for themselves so that they can then love others. They allow themselves to feel and face their fears. They take time to laugh and enjoy every moment. They know what it is to live.
These are the people who inspire us. They ignite the flame inside our souls that yearns for something more. They dare us to look at our lives and acknowledge the areas that we need change. Sadly, for too many of us, that is all that happens. We get inspired to change and get our lives together, but that is all that we do. The real change never occurs and after a while that flame within us dies down once more and we remain the same. We choose to stay with the familiar and deny ourselves many of the opportunities life presents us if only we would let that all go.
We can create every excuse to postpone our happiness and avoid blossoming into our potential. It seems that it is always if or when. If this person in my life would change or if I get that job. When I lose weight or when I get married. We choose to continue to listen to the nagging voice of fear and have it remain employed as general manager of our life.
The problem is that if and when, though they promise change, never actually bring it with them. If and when end up being like unwanted guests that at first you may not have minded, but soon discover that they never plan on leaving. Once you invite them into your life they will always have to put in their opinion and will constantly remind you of all the reasons why you can’t enjoy your life and be happy in the present.
The truth is that if you aren’t living the life that you desire now and you aren’t happy now, you will never enjoy your life if or when. Contentment, joy and satisfaction with life can be ours at any moment that we choose them. We can have the life that we desire now, in the present. We can allow ourselves to be loved and to love others now and we have to because all that we have is now.
I used to have this idea that once I was thinner, life would be better. I thought that I would be happier and be a better wife, mother and person. I spent too long of my life obsessing about my body and trying to make it what I thought that it should be so that I could have that life that I wanted and become the person that I wanted to be in hopes that I could finally be happy. I would tell myself, when I lose a bit more weight, then I will be happy.
After a long time of playing this game with myself, I realized that even as the weight came off I was still the same and that my happiness had nothing to do with my appearance. Happiness, along with peace of mind and contentment, only came when I allowed myself to forget about those material ego-driven goals and allowed myself to feel loved as I was and to love others as they were. When I continually threw hooks out into the material world, hoping that it would bring me the life that I desired, I neglected to turn inward to hear the voice of my true self. I attached myself to anyone and anything ‘out there’ to avoid just being content with who I was.
I had done this for so many years that it had become my norm. I lived for other people’s opinions of me and always worried about what ‘they’ might think above anything that I really thought or felt. All I wanted was to be approved of, loved and accepted and I thought that meant being thin and beautiful. I had no idea what self-love even was or that the feeling of approval, love and acceptance had to begin with me approving of, loving and accepting myself. It had nothing to do with anybody else but me.
Thankfully, I am not that same person anymore. After abusing myself emotionally (with constant negative self-talk) and physically (by restricting my food, binging, purging and over exercising) with my eating disorder and worst of all neglecting my inner voice for far too long, I broke open. I was living in hell and although I thought that I was the one in control, I realized I had no control over my life at all and I was miserable.
From that place, I decided to pick up the pieces of my life and live for something more. I began listening to my true self and really got to know who I was and worked on accepting that girl and respecting what she wanted. It was like I was meeting myself for the first time of my life.
It turned out that she didn’t actually care too much what people thought of her. She wasn’t attached to her weight, what she looked like in the mirror or if she missed a workout. She was deeper than that! She had dreams and ambitions. She was free from negative self talk and always saw the beauty in everything and everyone. She was positive and inspirational and she actually believed that she could make a difference in the world. She was strong and confident and so much more fun to have around. She was who I really was.
It is in the moment of stillness, when we remember who we truly are, that is when we will find happiness. We can choose to be pathetic and negative, never believing in anybody or anything, identifying ourselves with our ego and inviting if and when to make themselves comfortable in our lives or we can choose to give up the fight and just accept all of who we are and embrace everything and everyone exactly as they are in the present.
How about now? What if you could embrace your life the way it is and surrender your plans for the future? What if you knew that now is the same as if or when? What if you allowed yourself to experience love and extended love to others now? Within you is the power to choose and to press past all your fears to enter into the greatness of what it is to really live and to be happy and free. It is your choice. Your joy and positivity is contagious, but so is your negativity and depression.
What is your message? Is your life reflecting your beliefs and values and sending the message that you want it to? If your answer is no, remember that you can at any moment change that. You can have the life that you desire now and be all that you want to be now. There is always an abundance of greatness available to us at any time we choose to receive it. Press past the voice that denies you any enjoyment and satisfaction in the present moment. You have this day to be all that you were created to be.
If not now, when?