What is the difference between living and existing?
When you look back on your life are you going to remember the times you decided to not try and stretch yourself and accepted what life has given you?
Or will you think back onto the moments where you gave it your best effort and either exceeded beyond all expectation or failed miserably?
Either way, you were fully engaged in the process of finding what you were made of. I believe that much of the difference between living and just existing stems from this search to measure ourselves.
What Am I Made Of
Or at the very least turn it into something unhappy and undesirable. In most people, there is a drive to find out what we are made of. How much lies beneath the surface? Am I the greatest? or Am I just a weak comparison for talent?
All of these questions quite naturally come to our minds. If you have everything you need and do not feel the need to test yourself, I believe that is part of existing. To live there is an awareness and appreciation that comes to a person when they see the connections between themselves and the rest of the world and they try to show them through their art or actions. That is when you are living.
Living in The Moment
It is still a difficult thing to both explain and experience for me, but when I can get into the moment I am existing in, life makes sense. Food tastes better, happiness is deeper, and awareness of the world around me is at an apex. Sometimes I find myself daydreaming and push myself back into the moment and wonder why it is a constant struggle to get there.
If you don’t know what I mean by living in the moment then you have never had much exciting happen in your life. It is simply appreciating all the sensations that are happening around you all the time.
Seeing a wider scope of life and it usually comes from looking at the world outside of yourself. When you worry about the future or entertain regrets about the past you are living in a fantasy world that has no benefit for you today.
The past is gone and can’t come back again, and tomorrow may never come. All you have is the moment right now. When you enjoy that moment you will see what I mean. All of the experiences of a life are there for you. This I believe is living rather than just existing.
Love Not Fear
There are two sides of the coin here love and fear. They are opposite but close together and if you are not careful one can turn into the other. When you are living you are experiencing feelings of love. Happiness, kindness, acceptance or forgiveness come from this emotion. If you are just living often times it is fear that has infiltrated your life.
When you are afraid of being hurt, in one way or another, there is no way to live in the moment, or at least it is difficult because in reality, you would rather be anywhere else than worrying about being hurt. Often times what we are afraid of doesn’t even exist, it is just a possibility.
This usually stems from some self-created thoughts that surround make-believe circumstances where who or what we love is taken away from us. These fears can manifest themselves into pretty powerful things if you are not careful. The fears we create work to take us out of the moment and away from living the life we are capable of living. Leaving us with the ability to exist in fear. When it comes to a choice between love and fear choose to love.
I believe that it is much better to live than just to exist and I believe that we have that ability to choose how we experience our lives by what we focus our attention on.
What do you think is the difference between living and existing?