Each year I pic a new theme. It is a word that we ""can focus on, mediate on, and reflect upon" as we go about daily life."
My theme in 2011 was "keep letting go." I still need to work on this theme, but there has been a lot of growing personally over the years with this theme.
My theme in 2012 was "change for the better." What a great theme this was for 2012. It really did come true. We have had so many stresses that we started out in 2012 with that have not gone away one by one over the year.
I choose my theme for 2013 back at the end of October which God had placed on my heart heavily early. It continued to be on my heart for weeks and that is when I knew it was my theme, when it would not go away.
I had a moment in time when I felt life was over for me. Not that I would be suicidal, but in another way which I have not shared yet with anyone but hubby.
So someone asked me "What does 'life' mean to you?"
It caused me to reflect and I learned and grew about myself in doing so.
THE QUESTION AND THE ANSWERS
Therefore, I asked others online the same question, "What does 'life' mean to you?" Before I share my answer (and this will be a very long post and if you read it all I'll be very impressed!), I want to share their answers.
*** Well, Hummie, the first thing I will tell you is---life is NEVER over! Not by our calendar anyway. That decision belongs to Someone else!! And believe me, during my 73 years, there have been times when I would have shouted LIFE IS OVER from the mountain tops!!!
*** Picking up the pieces
a reply: ---letting the pieces lie there and start fresh!! :o)
the reply: ---but you can't leave your family and friends behind and start fresh!
a reply: ---you can't leave family and friends on the ground with the pieces, but you can take them with you when you start fresh. Believe me, I have done it!!
*** Life is enjoying the moments. The every day, mundane, I did this yesterday moments. The moments that hurt, the moments that heal, the moments that come and go before you know they have. For me life is being here. Being aware of life itself with all of its ups and downs and learning to savor those moments and to realize how quickly life goes. Life is the little things. "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." ~ John Lennon
*** thought provoking.... in everything... glorify God..... I almost used "life" in there..... lol
*** What does life mean to me? Above all, God is and will always be the center of my life. Life to me is cherishing each moment I spend with my husband. We care for my dad 24-7, and a special needs grandson, there are always trials and decisions. Through the storms, we have learned to dance in the puddles. Our family, loves, laughs, and cries together...we take each day as it comes. It is amazing when a beautiful moment puts a smile on your face and warms your heart forever. I live simple, love much, give of myself, accept humbly, treasure my precious moments.
*** Life is about never giving up. When things seem bleak or hopeless...when you feel as if things couldn't be worse, that's when you need to look around and open your eyes to what you DO have. Life is about appreciating what you have been blessed with, doing the best you can with what you have, keeping a positive outlook, letting yourself lean on others when you need to so they can lean on you if the time should come. Life is about continuing to grow in knowledge, wisdom, faith and understanding. It's about living in the now. Don't have regrets because you can't change the past; and if you could, you wouldn't have what you have now. Instead of regretting mistakes you have made, learn from them so you won't repeat them. Share with others the big mistakes you have made, so they can learn from them too. Because life is also about helping others, being kind to our fellow men and creatures. Also, don't worry about the future. There are things that are going to happen no matter how much you worry. And while you're worrying, you're missing out on the Blessings you have been provided with today. That doesn't mean you shouldn't plan for the future, however! LOL
*** Well, there is so much on my mind I dare not get started other than to say I have learned that life is about the little things. They make you happy or make you miserable. My children and I were terribly hurt by little things-words, actions and lies. We cherish the little things every day now. We laugh every day, we hug every day, and we respect one another every moment of every day because we know what it means to live in the shadow of others who cannot or will not. I have begun reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl, a survivor of the Holocaust. He speaks about the role meaning of life played in the survival of many despite the odds against them. Very interesting so far.
[----My response after beginning to read the book (here and here): the forward said Frankl identified three sources of finding meaning in your life: in work, in love, and in courage during difficult times. That is interesting to me because I can see my answer to this question in one of those.
--- Another reading: Forward says "suffering in and of itself is meaningless; we give our suffering meaning by the way we respond to it" ..... just thought that was interesting too.
I want to continue to read this book, I enjoyed the part I read]
*** Life for me means Happiness. Joy. I can cry (Oh my, yesterday I cried watching "the amazing spiderman"..so yes, I cry ^__^), but nothing is great as a smile. It's a warm feeling in my heart, and I need that to go beyond dark and difficult moments and days..and months. Life is easier, with a smile on my face. Life could be also short, I prefer to live my days with a smile than with sadness. Life for me means to choose what it's worth for me and to find in those things something to be happy about. If my boyfriend is sick, I choose to see that he's alive and with me every day. My cat passed away (and I cried a lot!), I choose to remember the happy moments and to imagine her running free. If my parents are having an hard time with jobs, I choose to see that I can help them and that we're not alone, we have each other. life is choosing to be happy ^__^
*** What does "life" mean to me.......I am reminded of the saying "life is not a spectator sport." To me, that means that we should not just be "existing" and "surviving," instead we need to be active and proactive in being the best that we can be, first being there for ourselves, taking care of ourselves, so that we can be there for others. Be a positive influence in every aspect of our lives. Make a difference each day, no matter how small. Give thanks for each day.
MY ANSWER AND MY THEME
So, after all of the anticipation leading up to my reveal of my theme, I share with you that my 2013 theme is "relationships."
What does life mean to me? It means "relationships."
1. First and foremost, it means a relationship with Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. If all other relationships fail, I have this one to catch me.
2. Second, relationships with people.
Now, I want you, the reader, to go back up to all the responses above to the question and review them, just as I have done again myself, and you will see that each one of them comes down to "relationships."
We may be picking up the pieces in our relationships, enjoying moments in our relationships, hurting in our relationships, caring in our relationships, enduring the storms of relationships, jumping in puddle joys in our relationships, loving in our relationships, crying in our relationships, laughing in our relationships, leaning on our relationships, sharing in our relationships, helping each other in our relationships, hugging in our relationships, respecting in our relationships, working in our relationships, having courage in our relationships, being happy in our relationships, smiling in our relationships, and active in our relationships.
Yes, all of the above came from the quoted answers above and how true they all are! When the answers started coming in I was thrilled and I grew a bit when I realized what was on my heart was in each and every answer.
For me, if I did not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I sometimes think life would be over (in the physical sense), but that will never wane. He will sustain my faith which He has given to me.
However, at times I do feel "my life" is over with regards to relationships with people. It all ties into the "letting go" theme in 2011 in that I cannot seem to let go of the feeling that everyone is always judging me.
I do not know why it is, but it seems that most people do not like me. I feel like I am being very loving and kind and always doing for others, keeping my tongue more than people know, but the moment I open my mouth, people start looking at me oddly.
When I reflect on all the facial expressions I've seen (which seem to float about in this mind of mine as I remember things with an episodic memory or visual memory best) in response to when I speak and flashes before me and makes me down just thinking about them.
People always take me differently than I intend. I get strange looks.
At the time of the event of this theme, that is how I felt. I felt my life was over because my relationships seem to be over and I am afraid to create new relationships. I feel as if so many people want nothing to do with me.
My own sons who I gave my many years up for, doing everything I ever did for them, seem to want nothing to do with me. Some say it is just because they are "men," and that if I had a daughter she wouldn't be that way, but I don't always buy into that theory.
I feel as if people only want a relationship with me whenever they want something from me. People don't want to be near me because of me, but rather because they need me to get information (or learn from me) or help them in some way. You know, that hurts.
For instance, do people who come to Hummie's World stay because they like to hang out with me or do they come to learn and then leave when done? Yes, of course, it is a "business," but the digiworld is different. It is like a little stab in the back when they leave, as in a rejection, but I try to let that roll off.
I sometimes say, "what makes me such a horrible person" that no one wants a relationship with me. Yes, my dear hubby sticks with me and I stick with him, but other than that, it seems it is always me making the effort to build relationships. It is always one-side reaching out. I also say sometimes, "it is good to be needed," but in reality, it's a flip-side of how I feel. I don't want to be needed, I want to be liked and loved.
I think part of my problem is how much I value relationships compared to how much others value relationships. I have inside me a value that you never give up on family and friends, so when people give up on me, it is really hard on me. It hurts more than they can every imagine. I do not understand how people just throw away other people.
So for 2013, I need to continue to focus on "letting go" of those relationships that hurt too much and "not being afraid" of making new relationships. Will I have new relationships by the end of 2013?