How did you live?

I know that someday I will die.  It is the one constant in life, the one guarantee.  When I finally move on to the last great adventure there will be three questions I will be asking myself; How well did you live, how hard did you love and how deeply did you let go.

The first question; how well did you live.  I think there are many different ways to interpret that question. To me it is asking if I was able to live my life without allowing fear to get in my way.  Was I able to attack my life as an adventure, allowing myself to fall, to fail, to get hurt?  Did I try everything I wanted to try?  Did I see everything I wanted to see?  Did I tackle all of the challenges in my life, trying to live my life as fully as I could?  I see people  live their life through the lenses of ignorance and fear.  Their hearts are closed to new experiences, including love, trust, exploration, and sometimes even fun.  They see the world and life as something to hide from instead of something to explore and cherish.  I want to know that I tasted as many foods as possible, explored as many cultures and beliefs, peered out over as many vistas as possible.  I want to know that I didn’t hide from life, but lived it. 

Second: How deeply did you love?  Loving deeply, true love, is scary.  Deep love requires a letting go of your heart and giving it to someone else. It requires not only that you trust the person that you give your love to, but that you trust yourself.  It requires that you trust in your ability to keep yourself together if your heart is handed back to you, possibly in pieces.  It requires that you are able to not only love others, but to love yourself as deeply as possible.  I think that is one of the most difficult things to do in this life.  To love yourself, accepting your own foibles and problems.  To look at yourself in the mirror, forgive your mistakes and know that you are deserving of love.  Knowing that when you find true love, you aren’t able to know hate. For yourself or anyone else. 

Finally, how deeply did you let go?   Did you dance with abandon?  Did you love with freedom?  Did you explore with an open heart?  Or did you hold on to fear, hold on to hate, hold on to regret or shame? 

I don’t want to face that final adventure wishing.  Wishing I had loved more, lived harder, or let go more often.  I know I want to live as well and as fully as I possibly can, love as much as I much as I am able, and let go as fully as possible. 

This entry was posted in Fear, Humanity, Self-Relations on by .

About Marissa Engel

I have been in private practice in Austin, TX since 2007. My focus as a therapist is to help clients uncover within themselves the courage and strength to face life with confidence. In my work with clients I am most interested in helping people develop a compassionate relationship with their own experiences that can lead them on a journey of acceptance, self discovery, relief from suffering, and healing of relational disconnects. In my practice I have worked with individuals, couples, families, and groups, seeing adults, adolescents, and children. My scope of treatment has included depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anger and stress management difficulties, suicidal ideation, grief and loss, addictions, eating disorders, and couple/family difficulties.

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