We have all lived without in one way or another at some point in our lives. I have to. But there are different perspectives to “Living Without” though.
Firstly there is the physical living without something which we want in our lives. Simply speaking these are generally material things which we want to obtain because we believe we will be happy or happier once we have them.
The reasons why we live without these things is because we cannot afford them or we do not believe we are worthy of having them. We do not believe we are good enough to keep the job we have or get the promotion or job we desire, the partner we really want, the financial freedom which will let us do and buy all the things we want.
We believe in some way that these things will fulfill us and make us happy when we get them. And our efforts to get them do not go unrewarded. We make incremental progress towards achieving what it is we want but it always seems to be difficult to do so. And we make progress towards achieving what we want we find that happiness still eludes us and we remain unfulfilled.
So we try harder. And we struggle more to get more. And when we get something which we wanted and still lack fulfillment we place it aside as quickly as a child sets aside a new toy once the novelty has worn off. We need to get more in order to get to the ultimate state of happiness or so we believe.
In so doing, we become ungrateful for what we have and what we have achieved. We value nothing and constantly strive to have better and newer things which can maintain or improve our status among our peers.
With this attitude we often lose what we have achieved up to a point in our life. And when we do, our whole world comes apart. We identify with the things we have been ungrateful for when they are gone.
How many of us have seen our lives disintegrate when we suddenly lose our job, our partner, our car, house or anything else which we hold dear to us despite not being truly grateful for them? These are all things which we believe make us who we are. These are things which we collected on the way to achieving our picture of happiness. And when we lose it all we struggle to stand up again and build ourselves up from the beginning.
Why is that? In my opinion, we lose what we had because we were ungrateful for it in the first place. Why do we struggle to get up and start over? Again, in my opinion, when we have lost everything we identified ourselves with, we can no longer consider ourselves to be successful in any way. We have no material frame of reference to which we can attach any idea of “being” anything or anyone.
I have been there. I have experienced it. But I did not give up. I have instead learned that there is more to the term “living without”. Yes, we do live without some things until we believe we can afford them. But these are material things and they will never make us happy. Ever.
I have learned to look at “living without” from the perspective of “living from without ourselves” or simply being focussed on our external reality.
This is the mistake that so many of us make. We believe that our life, success and happiness is something which we need to get in our external reality by doing what we have been told and believe we need to do.
But let us not blame ourselves. No-one ever told us to live our life any differently. Since we can remember we have been told that we need to get an education, get a degree and get a job in order to be successful. And with the “get” paradigm having been ingrained in us since our earliest years, we do not know how to live any other way.
And unless we change it, as long as we pursue our lives focused on living from without, we will always live without what we truly want.
So how do we change this? If we recognise that living without no longer works for us we need to choose to change it first.
We need to choose to live from within instead. We will never truly be anything as long as we seek what we want to be from our external world.
Think back on times in your life when you have been upset or unhappy. Sure, there has always seemed to be a reason for something that made us unhappy or upset. The reality though, is that we chose to be upset by an event or circumstance. Did we stay upset or angry? No. Eventually we changed our focus and thought about something else. More specifically we chose to change our focus and be happy again. We could have chosen to stay upset by focusing on the event or circumstance which we believe caused our mood to change but for whatever reason, normally the simple demands of life, we had to shift our focus to something else. And when we did, we forgot about being upset and unhappy and became happy again.
Our choice to be in a specific mood or frame of mind, comes from within ourselves. Once we understand this and start to practice it our lives will start to change. We will start to live from within as opposed to without.
Now we cannot be everything. We need to choose what it is that we really want to be. When we have identified what it is that we truly want to be we need to practice that in our daily lives by be-ing” the living, breathing example of that for others. Everything we do needs to be a representation of the aspects of be-ing we have chosen and say that we want to be.
Make no mistake, it is not an easy change to go through but with focus and practice we can achieve it. Just as we focus on the material things we desire, we now need to learn to make the aspects of be-ing we choose our focus and getting that, so to speak.
We need to watch our thoughts and ask ourselves if what we are doing at any given point on a daily basis is helping us to represent the aspect of be-ing we have chosen.
I spent my life living from without. I achieved success in my career but I was always desperately unhappy and eventually I lost everything except my family.
I got to a point where I had to throw and give things away as we were evicted from our apartment and had no money to put our belongings in storage or ship them to our home country. I owed thousands to family, friends and banks and lived with a daily stress of surviving and finding some way to get back on my feet and keep it all.
But when it was all gone, I stopped fearing losing it all. I was able to start focusing on how I truly wanted to live life and be Happy. I learned that as long as I lived from without I would truly live without.
I am now truly learning to live from within and BE the person that I always wanted to be. I am learning new aspects of living that I never truly knew about or, if I knew about them, did not fully understand.
I am already Happier as a person and am starting to truly live the life that I always wanted to live.
I am letting go of the way I was taught to live life and learning to live life the way I believe I should have lived it from the beginning.
I hope that others will learn to live their lives the same way and in so doing truly make a difference to others and the world.