There are songs and sometimes movies that make a big impression on us, some of them seem to stay with us for years to come. «Live and Become» is such a movie for me. A mother living in the slums with her son sends him off with a Jewish woman who is being brought to Israel because she is now recognized as a genuine Jew. The boy must pose as a Jew to escape his miserable life. When his mother pushes him to leave, she tells him: «Live and become». The context in which this takes place gives those words a much deeper meaning than usual! It is based on true events that occurred in 1980 in Ethiopia.
While there are people who seem to «have everything» but are depressed and commit suicide (a staggering amount in Quebec, where I live), there are some who fight for their lives on a hospital bed and beg for others to sign their organ donor card so they can realize just a bit more of their dreams.
Living is quite a natural, magical and automatic event. We are born, we survive, we breathe, we don’t die (yet). But what about becoming? Or as Solomon says in the movie «12 Years as a Slave»: I don’t want to survive, I want to live!
Can you imagine such passion for life, for becoming… For unfolding?
It feels at times that we didn’t consciously decide to live. We become aware of our own existence in the first few years of our lives, and we take it for granted, for the most part, unless faced with health challenges or the sudden death of people close to us. But there is another kind of living, and it is one that comes from wanting to live, to be alive, to «become». You feel warm inside when you know that you want to be alive!
Where does it come from, this clarity and desire to live? To me, it stems from a choice, from choosing your own life in every aspect, and from a clarity of what you came here to do or to become. I can’t imagine someone who feels loved and loves another person and who feels useful and aligned with their purpose being depressed and wishing to end their life.
I’ve always felt that happiness is a decision. I do see people who find that decision easier to make than others. I think happiness is all around us if we have the right set of eyes to see it with. In the same way that we appreciate our home more when we visit poor places, or how we enjoy having running water after our water pump died for a few days, we can appreciate our life for what it has, for what we can do with what it has, without dwelling on what it seems to be lacking.
Identifying our purpose is what many people struggle with. «Ooooh, what to do with my life!?». To me that question should be rephrased: «Oooh, who do I want to BE in this life?!». From there, a much more powerful and meaningful answer emerges. It is also more aligned with what truly matters. Who you are, or your most authentic Self leads you to the form, the specific and unique way that you will Express your Self in the world. What people perceive of us, what we may appear to be, isn’t always who we are, deep down. This «public image» might be quite far off and we may feel trapped in a role, trying to appear a certain way. Until you clarify and identify WHO you are, in all it’s imperfections and uniqueness, your outer circumstances, or in a very real sense, your life as you know it, will have little to do with who you are. Happiness is then quite a challenge. When you decide to uncover your True Self and to become friends with it, you grow in ways that far surpass anything you could ever reach when you are disconnected from your Self. Expressing Your Self is the result of a level of comfort with who you are, and a clear excitement for your life. A life of authenticity is not only exciting, but becomes rather mandatory at some point in our lives. It is the answer to most problems and unhappiness.
I feel warm inside because I know that I want to be alive.
When did you know that you wanted to be alive? :)