"Live the Life you Choose!" A friend recently had those words tatooed on his shoulder. I have reflected since then on the meaning and truth, or lack of truth in this statement. (As an aside: I don't personally like tattoos, but it's his life, and he gets to choose! Ha ha!)
The title of my blog is "Leslie lives life, loves life, and laughs at life." This is true, but I didn't say "Leslie gets to live the life she chooses" because many times in my life it has been proven that I didn't get to make the choice. My husband, my children, or even friends made choices that changed the life I chose. My health has even played a part in the life I live. I do have a choice in how I respond to the life I didn't choose, and therein lies the choice.
I love the story of Corrie Ten Boom. She was the Christian living in Holland whose family hid and helped Jews escape from Hitler's Nazis. Eventually they were taken to concentration camps themselves. Corrie and her sister Betsie were interred together at Ravensbruck one of the most insidious and cruel camps. As I remember her telling the story in her book THE HIDING PLACE she was incredulous that her sister would thank God in her prayers for the lice and other vermin in their prisons, but her sister explained that the rats and lice kept the guards away. I so admire and try to follow Betsie's example in how to live the life she was given. Corrie and Betsie made righteous choices and lived exemplary lives, but they didn't choose the life they were living.
I believe we can dream, make goals, and live a better life. What would our life be without striving for things that would improve us, or lift us up? It is important, also, to "Live your life that you have no regrets." How important is that? Love One Another is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of living a life with no regrets. Reach out to those in need, don't hurt those you love, and if you do....rectify your life, get right with them and with God so there is no regret.
As I see it, the purpose of this earth life is to receive a body, to be challenged with trials, and to have the agency to choose how we respond to those trials. Maybe there was a time in the pre-existence that we were made aware of some of the difficulties we would face, but none of us were given a life free of sorrow and pain. With the Lord's guidance and love we can learn from our trials, endure, and return to our Father in Heaven able to be proud of the life we lived.
We do need to love ourselves. I think we forget sometimes that the Lord says "Love your neighbor, as you love yourself". Very clearly we can't do one without the other. I have heard, though, that we live in the "me generation", in a "horizontal society" rather than a "vertical society". That means rather than looking to God for the best answers.... we look to ourselves and our peers. "If it feels good, do it." or "What makes ME feel good?", "What's in it for ME?" Kind of a selfish view, more or less. Is that the way God intended us to live?
So, I like the way it sounds "Live the Life You Choose" and I'm sure my friend meant it in the very best way, but I hope while he is living the life he chooses, he remembers there are other people living it with him. He always did live an exceptionally unselfish life. I hope his new declaration doesn't change that, and that he will continue living a life with no regrets.
I know the life I am living right now is definitely not the life I chose. I chose to marry the man I loved and have an eternal family. Things didn't work out, so I am not living the life I choose. I am choosing to live the best I can with the life I have.
What are your thoughts?