I am most grateful for the opportunity to move forward in “this we call life."
As I settle in my new Charleston surroundings, my first instinct is to “re-invent" myself. Then, as I attempt to unpack the many boxes I had recently just packed, I am reminded of who I am: a multi-dimensional woman who is resilient and passionate. Somehow, I’ve allowed “the burdens of life" to rob from me the woman I am and have forgotten “the art of being fully human and alive". In retrospect, this past year has reflected a robotic shell of who I am and of who God has intended me to be.
Once again, I freely embrace the “child within me" who is filled with wonder and hope. Once again, I rejoice at the possibilities I face instead of obstacles. Once again, I feel free to embrace life head on…
and, once again, I thank God for being alive.
In a society where many are “sleepwalking" through life, how do we teach ourselves, especially our children, the wonders of our own personal selves? How do we teach that life is sacred and should not wasted? How do we teach that we are our own gifts from God?
For me, it has nothing to do with us personally but has everything to do with God.
A reader all of my life, I recall being moved with a very poignant piece written by a school principal that was included in Haim Ginott’s last book:
I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no person should witness. Gas chambers built by learned engineers. Children poisoned by educated physicians. Infants killed by trained nurses. Women and babies shot and killed by high school and college graduates. So I’m suspicious of education. My request is: help your students to be human. Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, or educated Eichmanns. Reading and writing and spelling and history and arithmetic are only important if they serve to make our children human.It is my belief that many of us have never “learned" the dignity of being a fully alive human being.
When I write an article, I am never certain of how many people will read my ramblings but I am certain of this: there isn’t one person reading this who hasn’t cried or experienced loneliness or despair. There are also many who have laughed and know joy. In these ways, each of us are connected and can relate to the same struggle toward being fully alive and human.
Every one of us has the right to live with dignity and know joy.
As I pen this, I think of a statement by Thoreau: “Oh, God, to have reached the point of death only to find that you have never lived at all." What a tragedy when life becomes a burden.
To be fully alive, I believe we need to get back into our own inner caves and learn to love ourselves. Too many people today want to be someone else! With all of our personal imperfections, we must be able to look at the reflection in the mirror and say to ourselves, “you ain’t so bad at that!"
Each of us is a “work in progress" but before we concentrate on helping others we need to concentrate on healing ourselves. In order to give you must first get and you can’t give what you don’t have in the first place.
I am referring to honesty and self-acceptance. If I don’t have wisdom I can only teach my own ignorance. If I don’t have joy, I can only spread despair. If I don’t have inner freedom, I can only put children in cages. Everything I have, I can give away but I have to have something to give away in the first place. And so, through the Spirit of Christ, I have dedicated myself to be the best Judi Lynn Lake there is!
I believe that there is no limit to being fully human; we each have unlimited possibilities. We cannot follow others, we need to follow our own way and become the magical combination that will never again occur in history. And we must teach this to our children because they are our future.
Being 51, I am grateful to have an eight year-old little girl. Motherhood forces me to constantly embrace the child within me. I would highly recommend to every adult over forty to go back to the point in childhood where the world was a huge, wondrous mystery that “had" to be understood. Be curious again! Say to yourselves, “Yes, I want to touch and feel and taste everything and, since there isn’t time in life to do it all, I want to do it now!" Value your lives and live every moment as though it were your last. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote that the people who scream the loudest on their deathbeds are those that never lived. They’ve sleepwalked through life and stood on the sideline.
It’s time we stop talking about living and start living life.
Don’t miss yourself! Forgive yourself for being less than perfect and celebrate yourself just as you are! Don’t envy anyone because the magic is in you! Remember, we are God’s gifts to each of us and what we do with our lives is our gift to back to Him.
©2008 Judi Lynn Lake. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
Judi Lynn Lake has kept up with leading edge business trends throughout her varied and successful career. She had already had her "15 minutes of fame" over and over again before starting her family. Judi and her family now reside in South Carolina, but, having been born and raised on Long Island, NY, it is clearly evident that she will always be a "New Yorker." Today, she successfully runs her own advertising agency which handles everything from logos, branding and package design while she continues to work closely with self-published authors from design to promotion. For more information, visit judilake.com
The following video, Don't Give Up, sung by Josh Groban courtesy of You Tube.