Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Unlived Life

I worked in hospice for many years, during which time I frequently heard, "Oh, my God, that must have been depressing." Not so. It was truly inspiring and taught me a few important lessons about living one's own life.

In the 1930's, Jung wrote about the concept of the unlived life: in a nutshell, for every choice that we make, there are choices that we didn't choose, and those choices accumulate in our unlived life. Think about it: if you chose to get a BA in business, what didn't you choose? A BA in art? Sports psychology? Chinese literature? And what were/are the implications of each of those choices? And what about the Dream Crushers, the people who told you who you were supposed to be, and maybe even made your choices for you? What will be, or have been, the consequences of those imposed choices? In hospice I saw, firsthand, the consequences of choices past and how they translated into regrets.

To tell you the truth, there's nothin' pretty about regrets and the last days of a person's life. So, I'm thinking that it's important to live one's own life. Not the life that your parents insisted on, or that your spouse needs you to live, or that your children seem to require of you. Maybe, just maybe, if you live your own life, they will be empowered to live their own lives, too. And then what might happen to the world, or at least your family lineage? The result could be inner peace, joy, contentment, a life filled with meaning and purpose, many persons' potentials fully manifested. And, then, as the final days of your life unfold, maybe, just maybe, you'll be glad that you lived your own life, not someone else's. Just a thought.


Mimi814 said...

Your talk on this very subject for Wind Song Chapter was very thought provoking, and I for one, really enjoyed it. Thanks.

DrGwenF said...

Thank you. I enjoy public speaking and the group was very receptive to my message. What would you like me to talk about next time?