blaire blaqua

This conversation is closed.

Are you living life for yourself?

Are you living life for yourself?

Or are you living your'e life for others?

How many people out There? Have put their lives on hold to accommodate for somebody else's needs and to furthermore out of "love" to see that person or persons succeed in their lives.

Your thoughts and experiences would be appreciated :)

Blaire.

  • Jul 4 2012: Hi Blaire,

    At the risk of repeating a common theme, I live for myself by taking care of my wife. Fifteen years ago my wife was diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease (jargon for she has become allergic to herself). It is in some ways similar to being a single father. The work and heartache are well worth it. Sorry fellas, I got her first.
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: Barry,

      My upmost admiration goes out to you!

      It is hard to believe that there are some people out there who will leave those that they love because of their illnesses.

      For example I know a man who had a girlfriend who had cancer and well he left her for another woman because he could not deal with it, but still he continued to fool her and say that he loved her but only to gain something materially.

      Its sad but so true.
      • Jul 10 2012: Blaire, I can believe it, and I cannot judge it.

        This probably does not apply to your example, because the man was being dishonest.

        My wife became ill just when our youngest was leaving the nest. Staying with her was a choice I made for myself more than for her.

        I once heard about a couple in their young twenties. Having children was extremely important to both of them. When she was diagnosed with Lupus, the husband reluctantly decided to leave her. At first, I thought this was terrible. Then my wife said that if we had been in that situation, she would have insisted on a divorce. When you look at this situation from all sides, you can ask, why should he have to suffer too? Why would she want him to suffer along with her?

        I have lived with my wife's suffering for many years, and have no regrets, but I would not presume to judge someone who decided differently than I did.
  • thumb
    Jul 4 2012: The options in your question are harsh. Living for myself is selfish, cold, and calloused. Living my life for others I would be eligable for sainthood. May I have a third option?

    Life has been good to me. I have elected to give back to the community. Not because I am trying for sainthood but mainly because it pleases me. As I have said often, I am willing to give a hand up but seldom would give a hand out. I accommodate others needs as a coach because they have earned it. I have seen extremely talented people who rely on natural ability fail and those with minimum abilities suceed through total dedication and maximum effort. I have seen smart kids who were lazy and along for the ride and hard workers who achieved that did not have the gifts of the others.

    The points is it does not have to be one or the other. I enjoy my life but can share time and effort for those who are working hard to achieve goals. I have little patience for those who are along for the ride at the expense of others. Ther is no free lunch.

    All the best. Bob.
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: I agree with how you have said you have little patience for those who are along for the ride at the expense of others, its sad that this exists but so true.

      There is a significant other in my life who is very lazy ethically and relies on the generosity of others and somehow seems to gain more and more everyday! *what do you call these people?* they go throughout their lives being given everything and have no respect for those who have worked really hard in their lives to be actually able to give to them, this person prances around giving false hopes and stolen philosophies to justify their actions.

      I look at this type of behaviour and am appalled but at the same time I know that I have contributed to this person being like this so I am also to blame. :(

      Because of this I find myself wanting to be more selfish and cold everyday maybe a little resentful as well.

      Thanks Bob for you comment :)
      • thumb
        Jul 5 2012: Blaire, Question # 1 is what do you call these people ... Leeches. You have recognized there is a problem and that by accepting it you have enabled the actions. I do not see blame. I think your intentions were support for the significant other as should be in a relationship. Once you acknowledge that this behavior is not acceptable to you or to be condoned you have begin to distance yourself. You do not say s/he you do not name .. the tell - tell sign is "that person" or "this person". This is not cold, selfish, or resentful ... these are prepatory steps in emotional seperation.

        I am not qualified to tell you what to do and do not pretend to know what is happening in your life other than what you share. Your comments are basically asking permission. You no longer internalize these thoughts you are expressing them openly. Colleen and I agree on almost everything and she gives excellent advice. As she states in her reply below .. she has been there in her relationship. If you feel comfortable with it .. send her a private e-mail through her profile and talk this out. As a friend I would be glad to listen also. Remember the decision is yours and yours only.

        I wish all the best. Bob
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: I agree with you Robert...imagine that!!! LOL:>)

      I also give because it pleases me, and giving, offers the opportunity to grow and evolve in myself as well as hopefully help support others in their life journey. We have all chosen many different paths...some overlap and cross, some do not. However, even if, on a conscious level our paths seem not to cross, they actually do in my perception, because I believe that we are all interconnected.

      We are all either contributing to the universal energy (collective consciousness), or taking from the global energy without contributing to replenish that resource. I also have observed many people as we navigate the life experience (myself included), walking many different paths, and I have very little patience for those who are along for the ride at the expense of others.

      Dear Blaire,
      You say "there is a significant other" in your life who is lazy ethically, relies on the generosity of others, given everything, has no respect, prances around giving false hopes to justify their actions.

      Why is this person a "significant" other? You are not ever "to blame" for someone else's behavior. We CAN, however enable people to behave in certain ways if we continue to accept the behavior. What is the motivation for a person to change if we keep them in our lives with the same behaviors?

      Taking care of yourself is not "selfish and cold". If you don't take care or yourself, how can you take care of anyone else? We can only give to others what we honestly have in our hearts, and if we keep giving and giving to others, without replenishing our own resourses, we eventually become depleted. I speak from experience...been there...done it...learned. I believe you are learning this too Blaire because you are asking questions and exploring your own thoughts and feelings about this topic.
      • thumb
        Jul 5 2012: Colleen, As always yor replies are accurate and to the point. I refered to your wisdom in my reply above and hope I have not oversteped in my comments.

        With respect and as always all the best. Bob.
        • thumb
          Jul 5 2012: Dear Robert,
          I perceive no overstepping whatsoever. I see people caring, with intertwined thoughts, feelings, and sharing of ideas. I am honored to have you as a friend Bob:>)

          Not only have I been there myself, but I have spoken with hundreds of women while volunteering at the shelter, men and women at the family center, incarcerated offenders, participants in classes and sessions I facilitated. I am glad to do an e-mail exchange, which I have done many times, with anyone facing a challenge if it might be helpful:>)
  • thumb
    Jul 4 2012: You live your life for yourself and the way to do this is to live for others.
  • thumb
    Jul 4 2012: Hi Blaire:>)
    I believe that everything I do is to learn, grow, evolve in our world, and share that learning and growth with others. So in that respect, if I am living a life of integrity, I am contributing to my own growth and evolution as well as contributing to the whole. Even if we are accomodating someone else's needs for a period of time, we have, within that experience, the opportunity to learn and evolve in ourselves. It has already been mentioned on this thread that it is about balance, and I wholeheartedly agree with that. The life experience moves and flows with changes and growth. We have the opportunity to go along for the ride with good intention and love in our hearts....or not.

    Accomodating for someone else does not mean we put our own life on hold. In my perception and practice, accomodating for others IS my life experience, and again...an opportunity.

    For the past year, for example, I have been helping care for two of my brothers who have cancer. I have not been doing as much kayaking, hiking, biking, gardening, etc. as usual, and that is ok. I know in my heart where my attention needs to be at this time. I am living for myself AND the whole of humankind, and it feels like I have balance in my life adventure.
    • thumb
      Jul 5 2012: Hi Colleen,

      You are truly amazing and I can relate with you on taking care of those you love with cancer.

      It is a hard struggle but when you have cancer and you have someone that you think loves you and well leaves you for the aesthetic of another because you are sick and they cannot deal with that.

      I guess that also fuels the selfish side of this question.

      How does one gain experience from this? How does one find the balance in this?

      Maybe its safe to say that you accept having the cancer initially and that person was not meant to be apart of your life?

      Thanks Colleen for sharing :)

      Blaire. :)
      • thumb
        Jul 5 2012: Well ok...thanks Blaire!

        I see myself as an evolving human being, who is learning with each and every life experience.

        When I care for others AND myself, I try to make the process LESS of a struggle. To care for ourselves AND others at the same time is critical if we want to have balance in our lives.

        Each person may discover the balance in his/her own way. I think/feel an important piece of the puzzle is to "know thyself". The more we know about ourselves, the more we can give to ourselves AND others. If you are feeling resentment, as you expressed in another comment, you may want to question that in yourself. Why do I feel resentment? Am I giving more of myself than I want to give?

        Depending on your answers to yourself, you may want to alter the situation, either by changing something in yourself (thoughts, feelings, perceptions), and/or you may want to actually change the physical dynamic...maybe both?

        You ask..."how does one find the balance"?
        I think/feel that it is important to realistically evaluate the situation, and decide how you can realistically change...or not.

        This mantra has been valuable to me:
        "Grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference".

        So, regarding helping people with cancer:
        I cannot change the fact that they have cancer. I CAN help support them with the challenges of the dis-ease and help make the process less of a struggle.

        We cannot change anyone else. We can contribute energy and love to someone as s/he navigates the life experience, then that person can make choices. We can realistically, only change our "self".
        This goes back to what Bob insightfully says... "I have little patience for those who are along for the ride at the expense of others". If someone is riding the "life train" at your expense, you might want to evaluate that situation.
  • thumb
    Jul 3 2012: My hypothesis is that most people actually live their lives both for themselves and for others. The main difference will be how broad the group of others is, whether their families, perhaps, their communities, some subset of their communities, the world community...
    I am not sure of the 'putting lives on hold." Our lives cannot be placed on hold. We may delay some things we do while doing other things in their place.
  • thumb

    Lejan .

    • +1
    Jul 3 2012: Hello Blaire,

    thank you for sharing this intersting question.

    My personal answer to this developed so far: It is a matter of balance!

    As helping and supporting others can be a continuous sorce of personal fulfillment, it can also turn into an destructive environment if it does not allow personal growth by all it means.

    My concept of 'love' is also based on balance, of free giving and receiving and by this this balance is not meant to be measured by the number of hugs and kisses... :o) It is measured in attitude towards each other, which can only be felt as it is invisible for sight. Unfortunately this scale of 'feeling' is easily fooled by itself, and thats why it proofs difficult ever since.

    So what I tend to ask myself frequently is if I feel 'content' in what is, and if the answer is 'no' or 'mostly, but...' I start digging for the reasons to change them. This I consider living for myself to the point that my answer is 'Yes' and from there I can start continuing caring for others. This process is highly dynamic, and such is life.

    And because we never know how many days we still have on this planet, we should not postpone to long for the balance to settle in...
    • thumb
      Jul 4 2012: Hello Jan-Bernd,

      Thank you for your comment it is very refreshing for me indeed to hear such a non material response.

      Your concept of "love" is interesting because it takes a lot of time for people to realise exactly what type of love they possess.

      For myself my love seems to be in the giving category in order to find a solution to problems, unfortunately for me this is the only "love" I seem to know. *for now*

      And well hence the reason I ask such a mundane question here on this site lol..

      Again thanks for your response really appreciated it :)

      Blaire.
  • Jul 8 2012: definitely not..!!! we actually do not live for others but do work for others.
  • thumb
    Jul 7 2012: no
  • thumb
    Jul 4 2012: I help those who need help, not those who WANT help.
  • Jul 3 2012: I think this question is best answered with this phrase:

    "Everyone does what they want."

    If you want to die, you kill yourself. If you want to help someone else, you do. If you want to follow laws instead of going to prison, you follow the laws. Everyone does what they want to do, which means everyone lives their lives for themselves.

    Your example of "putting your life on hold to accommodate for somebody else's needs" means you would prefer accommodating for somebody else's needs to the alternative, therefore you are still living your life for yourself. Your life is never on hold, your current objectives simply change.

    This may be better highlighted with the opposite situation (of which I rarely hear complaints about):

    Say you are in a foul mood and someone gives you a compliment, or tells a funny joke, and your mood is lifted. Is your foul mood life put on hold because someone helped you become happy? Of course not, your life simply changed in a way you were not anticipating.