Reflection – Live your Own Life

quietly refecting

These words came to me in a conversation yesterday with someone who feels she must rescue her adult daughter from a difficult marriage and challenging home situation.

“You cannot live her life for her.

Can you let her live her life?

… and live your own life?”

Perhaps you can relate to this if you are a parent.

Although I am not a parent, these words settled in deeply, and I too realized that I have not been living my own life here and now.

I’ve been living life in the context of “When Don is better”.. or “if Don isn’t here”.

We must all live our lives fully. It is ours to live, just as it is. In the present.

I realized that I have been living with a mindset of “after cancer”. Β Yet, the reality is that there is only living with cancer. By living for an unknown future, I have set aside the present and haven’t lived it fully.

When our mind is set elsewhere, the present become a means to an end. Yet the “end” is only a creation in our mind. We miss out on living life as it is.

It doesn’t mean that we should live in a passive way, or give up on life. Quite the contrary.

We don’t know what the future holds, but right now can be wonderful when we pay attention to it… and live it just as it is.



Take a moment to reflect.

“Are you living your own life as it is? … or setting it aside for someone else? … or perhaps living for an unknown future?”

And the question I now ask myself is “How can I be more present with myself and those I love?”


p.s. Don’s latest scan shows he is in remission. The next will be at the end of April.

No matter what is going in in your life, fully live and love in the moment you are in.

82 thoughts on “Reflection – Live your Own Life

  1. So true, Val. As a parent, we are so used to being in our kid’s life and helping them make decisions that it becomes a habit, and a bad one to continue with when they are grown. Even in marriage we think in twos and that’s probably not good either. We need to live in the now of our own lives because that’s all we really have.

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  2. Good news about Don, Val. And don’t be too hard on yourself . . . if you weren’t living in the present, I doubt you would have made your recent trip to Scotland to connect with YOUR roots and relatives. πŸ˜€

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  3. Every parent, including myself has had to face letting go and allowing our children to leave the nest and grow in their own way. I have also seen how focusing on others and their issues, allow us to avoid ours and this keeps us all trapped. Wise advice Val. πŸ™πŸ»

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    • Yes. I think what you are also saying is that, sometimes focusing on others instead of taking responsibility for ourselves can be a way to avoid not only living fully, but also accepting ourselves. Thank you Karen πŸ’›

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  4. Very wise advice, Val. It is so easy to try to live others life, specially the ones, as we care for, but we can only live our own life and need to let go these thoughts about living our kids life too. We have learned by experiences and our kids need to do the same, what ever we like it or not. We can only let them know, that we will always be there for support, if they need us, but they are allowed to live their own life ❀

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  5. Don’s latest scan is wonderful news.

    But I agree with you in that we must live our own lives as they are, right now. We can waste our whole lives waiting for that better job, bigger house, new car etc. In doing so, we miss out on enjoying the reality of today.

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  6. As always, your words are far deeper than they appear at first flush. Oddly, that often seems to be the way with wisdom; it connects at two levels β€” linking and extending from the superficial to the profound. It’s as if one can read or hear wise words and say to oneself, “I can appreciate that”, yet that’s just at an intellectual level; whilst if we’re really attuned we go on to say “Ah, but now I see it.” I see you Val. Good news on Don! H ❀

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  7. This is such a powerful reflection, Val. I can relate at so many levels, as a parent, spouse, sibling, friend… and I am happy for the good news on Don’s health. Much love ❀

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  8. Oh Val, I must have missed that about Don. That is such fabulous news to read that he is in remission. 😎

    I believe that the role of a loving parent when faced with advising an adult son or daughter is to carefully and gently ask questions that allow said son or daughter to reflect on various scenarios pertinent to the situation. You know, the ‘What if ….. ?’ questions.

    This to me is being present for those that one loves. So far, so good!

    However, as you acknowledge in your very touching post, being present for others, as in being genuinely open for others, is founded upon an open self-awareness of oneself. The “I” comes before the “You”!

    Finally, I will close by suggesting that you and your readers be very cautious of amateur psychologists! (Especially the British variety! πŸ˜… )

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Very good advice, and I’m sure it’s hard to follow when a loved one is dealing with something as serious as cancer. But you are right, it is the only way to fully live, and to enjoy what we actually have, right here and right now. (PS: so glad to hear Don’s in remission!)

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  10. Oh, Val! Isn’t it scary when we suddenly realize this fact? We think we are evolving and that we are in the present moment…and then there is the realization that we are looking at a distant time in the future (that may or may not even be a truth) and ignoring what is going on in and around us in THIS MOMENT!!
    I suppose when we get to the place where we have awareness in every single moment…then our work here will be done!
    I am so happy to hear about ‘remission!’ And I just know that the two of you will BE in this moment and will LIVE it fully!! Much love…and great gratitude! ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Lorrie for your kind words and wisdom πŸ’• We are all evolving in our own way, and keep learning new and deeper perspectives. I hope your weekend has been going well and you are feeling good my friend! xo

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  11. Very important post and thought. I’ve had to push people from my life that wanted to tell me how to live it and push a few out to live their own. As a parent, I’ve been given a lot of flack about not being helpful long enough for my children. I help until I see it’s time for them to help themselves more and sometimes the best way is the hard way. Even with my own illness, I didn’t want it to identify me and who I am. I am not the illness. I give it little attention and focus my day on all the good that comes into it. Where attention goes, energy flows. I’m delighted you have good news and the possibility of some time to have fun. Tomorrow often doesn’t come. Have some fun today.

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    • Stepping back and getting perspective is so helpful. I hope your break has nourished and refreshed you. It is so important to feel that we are held, instead of being the holder. Sending love and light your way πŸ™πŸ’›


  12. Hello Val. It is so good to meet you and I want to thank you for the follow which is much appreciated.
    This post really resonates with me and I’m so pleased that you connected with me at the right moment in time, or else I would have missed out on the wisdom you impart. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi there.. Well, I feel that in today’s time, we have so much influence of the social media, that we don’t even find time to reflect on our own lives. Rather, we just want to know what’s happening in the lives of others. I really feel that it’s very important for every individual to reflecton their own lives, and be thankful for what we have.

    Liked by 1 person

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