Whose Life Are You Living?

by Amanda Petersen

I have recently been going through a remodel. My reasons for going through all this work was first to make sure what is behind the walls is up-to-date and safe, and second, to have a home that reflects who I am and is comfortable as I plan to enjoy this space for a long time. Through this 3-month process one question was asked over and over. “Are you sure? You need to think about resale value.” My response is I’m not doing this for resale and I am not doing this to live in someone else's house.  If I made decisions based on what some mythical buyer might like I have lost my purpose of a house I enjoy.

As soon as the words came out of my mouth I was hit with the reality of how this happens with our lives and souls! It’s so easy to make decisions based on what someone else MIGHT think.  Stopping ourselves before even getting started for fear of how others might think or react.  Now, I’m not talking about being kind or considerate. I’m talking about living the life God gave each and every one of us to live uniquely. Think of what inspiration and innovation we would have missed out on if Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, etc. had said “Oh, I had better not do that because someone might not like it.” Think of the people not-so-famous that have impacted or inspired you. How about the people who stood up for you when no one else would? How your life would have been blessed if someone had stood up for you regardless of public opinion. Or the person who said “No. I’m doing this even though it will cause change or pain” and now from the other side you can see the wisdom in it.

Think of the things that are happening in the world; bullying, shaming, discrimination or the changes that could be made if someone were to step out of the box and into their lives. We are not created with a mandate to live a life everyone else will be happy with. We are called to live a life of authenticity, celebrating that we are beautiful and unique and that might be off-putting to some and just the thing to inspire another life. Living authentically is like my wanting to make sure what is behind the walls was alright in my home. Authentic living flows from the core which means one must keep looking at who one is and the values and beliefs that motivate.  From that place then decisions of how to move in this world –regardless of what others might say– can be made.

If you are having trouble in this area then I highly recommend Sandy’s Quiet Places as a place to listen deeply. Also, Deanne's Mindfulness Workshop will give you tools to live from that authentic place. If you are in business and looking for the words to express your authenticity and action in the world then Alana’s Workshop is a must.

This week take time to ask yourself “Whose life am I living?”