Is this exactly the life I want?
My answer is sometimes a definitive and enthusiastic “yes,” and other times, just as definitive but far less enthusiastic, a “no.” So many aspects of my life have far surpassed what I would have imagined for myself . . . and . . . I am not the same woman I was twenty, ten, even five years ago. What offers meaning has changed. What matters has changed. What I want has changed. At the same time, there are realities (within and without) that are not exactly what I want; there is so much room to grow and change, so much with which I both struggle and hope.
Years and years ago, I would have pondered this question and been extremely frustrated. “Why am I not further along? Why am I not more satisfied? What is wrong with me?” I am pretty sure I felt an implicit and explicit demand to get my s**t together – harsh, contemptuous, self-critical. I don’t particularly like admitting this but somehow, remembering and acknowledging it is like opening the windows for the first time in Spring, the freshest breeze, a fragrance that wafts through the room and carries the memory of so much healing and growth during the seasons of darkness and cold.
Years and years ago I would have been determined to come up with an answer that was specific and detailed and lofty, I now feel no need to come up with an answer at all – which is an answer in and of itself.
I’m far more compelled by the life that I have than wondering if I’m living the one that I want.
This is not to say that the question is not relevant. It most definitely is! Years and years ago and still today. It’s the asking that matters.
Is this exactly the life you want?
Your answer offers you crystal-clear insight into the life you have right now: all that you can honor, all that you can change, and all that remains yours to take agency in/with on your own behalf.
Your answer gives you profound perspective into the life you have right now: what you know and experience in relationship with others, what might be missing, what needs to be said, what needs to be forgiven, what is yours to do and say and celebrate.
Your answer ushers you right into the center of your desire right now: no ignoring it, no toning it down, no compromise or compliance. And that is a VERY good thing!
Your answer calls you home to the truth of what “is,” to the life that is already yours, to the day-in-day-out reality of here and now. Which feels like the point of even asking the question in the first place. It is an endless and arms-wide-open invitation to live boldly, period. Not perfectly. Not adeptly. Not even consistently. Embracing struggle and hope, painful setbacks and leaps forward, old stories of self-contempt alongside increasing moments of self-love, loss and celebration, grief and joy. This IS exactly the life we want, yes? For ourselves, for others, and for our world.
May it be so.