Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life. – Seneca
I don’t want to leave anything on the field. On my last day, I want to be carried off with my chin strap still tightly fastened. I don’t want to come off the field knowing I didn’t live my life to the fullest. I want to leave the field lifting my eyes to where my spirit is heading next; not looking back in regret. I want to leave the field without any terms or conditions placed on my soul.
Living with conditions is the best way to cheat ourselves out of the life we deserve. Conditions tell us how we should live rather than living from our hearts. When we stop to listen, our hearts will remind us we are free to live our lives any way we choose.
The fine print and disclaimers in most written agreements or legal contracts can be overwhelming. These disclaimers are meant to protect the grantor from any misunderstandings the grantee may have as it relates to terms, conditions and warranties. To make certain these disclaimers are noticed, it is common to see an asterisk to provide an indication there is conditional language below.
The asterisks become red flags, of sorts, to the person receiving the service or product. They warn of special circumstances that must be observed in order to avoid additional expense or being in violation of the agreement. Our life contracts, on the other hand, are unconditional and not subject to interpretation by anyone except ourselves and our God. Life contracts contain no asterisks.
A responsible life
With such a limitless life contract, there comes responsibility. The responsibility to make choices that won’t disadvantage or harm anyone else while in the pursuit of our personal happiness is paramount. We do have the responsibility to take care of each other and support each other to the best of our ability. We also have the responsibility to take care of ourselves and do everything we can to nurture our soul in this life and in the next one, too.
The only conditions that exist in our lives are the ones we put there. Except in unfortunate circumstances, nothing happens to us without our permission or knowledge. If we find ourselves in an bad relationship it is because we choose to stay in it.
If we find we are gaining weight and losing energy it is because we are making choices that do not promote our personal well being. When we find ourselves making a statement like, “I will be happy when…” we are creating terms and conditions. If “I will be happy when…” was used in contract, it would have an asterisk next to it.
If you feel as though asterisks are being placed on your life, chances are pretty good you are putting them there.
Removing the asterisks
You do have the choice to remove the asterisks. Once removed, you life belongs only to you and without any restrictions. Here are ten simple, but powerful ways to live without asterisks:
- Continue learning how to be a person of choice. Realize in most circumstances you do have choices. If you want something to be different in your life, you can be the agent of change to set into motion a series of events that will begin to take you closer to where you want to go.
- Discover the hero in you.There is some hero in you when you make the commitment to be a positive influence in the life of everyone you encounter. Heroes don’t always have to save lives or accomplish extraordinary athletic feats. You will not see asterisks sewn on their masks or capes because their power has no restrictions – just like you and me.
- Stay away from toxic people. You may already know who these people are in your life. These are the folks who disparage your goals because of their need to deflect attention away from the fact they have no dreams of their own; or are not willing to do the difficult things it takes to accomplish them. Toxic people see asterisks, not clear a path leading them to how to live a life that belongs to them.
- Accentuate the positive. We do become what we think about. If we want to be filled-up with more good things, then we need to keep learning how to tune-out the critical people in our lives, as well as our shut-off our own self-limiting tapes that often play in our heads.
- Fall in love, every day. Allow your heart to be open to give and receive love every day. Tell your partner how much you love him or her; kiss your children good-night and be sure to save plenty of affection for yourself, too.
- Find your routine. Settle into a pattern that feels comfortable. Get up early every morning to savor the day before the busyness begins or go to bed a little later to make sure you have some time for recharging and reflecting. The point is to find your stride with how you can get the most out of each day.
- Don’t’ wait for the weekend. Don’t wait until the weekend to do things you enjoy or to relax. Having lunch with a friend, grabbing a workout, or going to the movies are really not illegal to do during the week. There are no asterisks on these activities that confine them for weekend use, only. A Tuesday night can begin to feel like a Saturday night if we choose.
- Experience the pain. Emotional pain, like physical pain, can tell us something. The purpose of pain is to remind us we are alive. If we will allow it, pain can provide the foundation to live a life of courage and determination. The memories of pain, and knowing we can survive, will help keep us on our feet for the next time.
- Make a difference. Tap into the unique gifts you have been given. You can do things no else can. We are put on this earth to make a difference. Maybe it hasn’t happen yet, but one day somebody will need something only you can provide. When you hear the call to serve, it will be time to make a difference and to do it unconditionally. When you do, not only will the recipient be blessed, but so will you.
- Lean on faith. When you mind tells you to give up, but your hearts nudges you to keep moving forward, faith is alive and present in your life. Faith is about having trust in what we do not see, but believe exists nonetheless. Faith tells us to live, really live, without regret and we will be rewarded with a life that gives us everything we need to be happy, whole and at peace.
My plan to live without asterisks
I will not allow my past to shape my present or define my future. My mistakes and the actions perpetrated against me belong to the past. However, I will not ignore these memories when they bubble up to my conscious mind. I will acknowledge them and allow the healing to continue.
I will continue to reach out to my children and be the best parent I can be while at the same time staying true and authentic to myself. I can’t do everything right, but I can continue to put their needs before my own and provide a stable, nurturing home.
I will continue to find ways to fill myself up with peace and contentment. I will rest when I’m tired; voice my needs without feeling unworthy; and take care of my body so it will sustain me through all that is waiting just for me.
I will continue to support Mary Beth by giving her the space and time to discover who she is and who she is becoming. I will cover her with love, not like a heavy blanket that would restrict her freedom; more like a fine veneer that would always be there, but would not limit how she chooses to see and experience the world.
I will continue to live my life contract every day. On the days that are particularly challenging, I will take a step back and remember there are no asterisks on my contract. I will ask myself what a confident, secure and self-loving man would do in the same situation. By doing so, I will be in a better position to make a choice that feels right for me and one without any restrictive terms or conditions.
What’s your plan?
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