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You Only Live Once

You only live once – at least in this lifetime, you do. There are many questions that I ask myself about my life.  Have I made a difference to other lives? What is the meaning of my life, I question.

Staring me in the face as I type this are these words that I’ve printed out to challenge myself :

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?  ~ from the poem The Summer Day by Mary Oliver

I know the best way to answer that powerful question is not with a list of things I’ve accomplished but with the quality of my life. But that is such a difficult thing to do.  After all, how does one really determine whether you have lived a life of quality or not.

The more I question, the more confused I get at times.

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I recall a story I read a long while back about a sage named Rabbi Zusya who astonished his students by weeping as he lay on his deathbed.  “Why do you weep, Rabbi?” they asked. “You, of all people, are assured of a place in heaven.”

“I weep,” answered the sage softly, “because when I reach heaven, I can safely answer all the questions I am asked, except  one. If I am asked, ‘Why were you not a Moses?’ I will answer, ‘Because I was not meant to do what Moses did.’ And if I am asked, ‘Why didn’t you perform miracles like Elijah did?,’ I will answer, “Because I was not born to be Elijah.” The only question I am afraid to answer is this, ‘Why were you not Rabbi Zusya?’ “

 I realize that the highest purpose in my life is to be true to myself – to honour my personal gifts, strengths and intentions – to be the best Me I can be.

 Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? 

This is in response to Write Tribe Prompt #4 – You Only Live Once.

Write Tribe Prompt

 

46 Comments

  1. Sheethal Susan Jacob Sheethal Susan Jacob July 17, 2013

    That was a beautiful story. To he true to yourself is the biggest challenge and if its possible then everything will fall in place.

  2. Aditi Aditi June 6, 2013

    Very well said…” highest purpose in my life is to be true to myself – to honour my personal gifts, strengths and intentions – to be the best Me I can be” I strive to to this every day…to make each day count…to define and redefine me…to make my life beaYOUtiful!!
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts…it has left a happy glow in my heart!! *love*

  3. G Angela G Angela June 5, 2013

    Thanks corinne, I remembered this story years ago, right now I just want to be me, and go with the flow of life. Would definitely want to be remembered as someone very loving and grateful, and tried to live life to the fullest !

  4. Bella Bella June 5, 2013

    Corinne, great minds think alike because this was something I was asking myself the other day. The thought process came about when my mother called to tell me that my aunt had passed away. As we cried and chatted over anecdotes of time spent with my aunt, my mother said, “She will forever be remembered for her respect for others and her attention to detail.” Of course, this spurned us to wonder what we would be remembered for. Your post has once again prompted me to think and think hard about this! Hugs to you and Pablo from Roxy and me! 🙂

  5. Privy Trifles Privy Trifles June 3, 2013

    Superb Story Corinne 🙂

    It is so true and perhaps the most difficult thing to do in today’s times is to be JUST ME !

  6. Joyce Joyce June 1, 2013

    Great post. I guess the secret of being true to one’s self is to know thyself.

  7. Anne Anne June 1, 2013

    Powerful story. I’d like to be remembered for inspiring people’s lives, for leaving a positive impact wherever I’ve been.

  8. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando May 31, 2013

    Being true to ourselves and allowing God to grow us in His will. That, dear Corinne, is how we make this wild and wonderful life truly beautiful, meaningful, and well-lived!
    Loved this post!
    Blessings, dear friend!

  9. Patrick O'Scheen Patrick O'Scheen May 31, 2013

    I’m not really sure that we can’t always be better… I suppose a meaningful life is different things to different people. For me, personally—-
    If I make the people around me happy, if I bring even one smile to someone else’s lips, my life is meaningful—my purpose complete.
    Smile Corinne! <3

  10. Patrick O'Scheen Patrick O'Scheen May 31, 2013

    I’m not really sure that we can’t always be better… I suppose a meaningful life is different things to different people. For me, personally—-
    If I make the people around me happy, if I bring even one smile to someone else’s lips, my life is meaningful—my purpose complete.
    Smile Corinne! <3

  11. Kajal Kajal May 31, 2013

    This is a great story Corinne…you inspire us in so many ways 🙂 Thanks!

  12. janu janu May 30, 2013

    The greatest good we can do to ourselves, is to be true to oneself
    And, yes, you have touched many lives 🙂

  13. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda May 30, 2013

    Dear Corinne,

    This was the focus of my prayer time this morning. I’ve been thinking about these ideas a lot lately, even more than usual. I have a mission in life which serves as a compass, but I think many people lack this and, thus, lack a feeling they are fulfilling their destiny.

    The mission of my work and Life is to challenge the balance of the status quo by nudging myself and others toward more powerful versions of ourselves through the synergistic use of science, art and spiritual practice.

    All day, every day I am focused on this and when I’m not sure what to do or which way to go I ask myself how to come into alignment with my mission in this moment. Then, I know what to do.

    Thank you for stirring the pot! You are a treasure! XOXOX

  14. Viteja Viteja May 30, 2013

    I realize that the highest purpose in my life is to be true to myself – to honour my personal gifts, strengths and intentions – to be the best Me I can be.
    Ability to realise this thing itself is an achievement. great story and everybody must think about it…..

  15. Ruchira Ruchira May 30, 2013

    Beautiful story ….I think a life where one is true to oneself is a life well lived !

  16. Ruchira Ruchira May 30, 2013

    So Beautifully written and very true !
    My uncle passed away recently and he was a very successful entrepreneur and very respected businesses circles. But none of us speak about these things when we talk of him – Instead we remember how warmly he welcomed a new bride in the house, how he always asked us about our work and actually listened and felt proud, about how generous he was in thought and in action.. this is what matters in the end and this is what decides if your life is well lived !

  17. Roshni Roshni May 30, 2013

    Lovely moral to the story! I hope to live my life with as few regrets as possible. But yes, I too should think more on that question!

  18. Vishnu Vishnu May 30, 2013

    Yess!! Enjoyed this post Corinne. Everyday we get the opportunity to discover our true selves which is divine. We can then stay true to this divine being or mask it with all those things the world values. We can only go so far trying to conform to the world but are limitless when we stay true to ourselves. And try to be our best selves.

    Not only should we DO our best talents (as Richa points out), we should also BE our best selves.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | June 1, 2013

      Glad you enjoyed it, Vishnu. Staying true the best version of ourselves is the way forward for us all – imagine how wonderful the world would be if each of us did that?

  19. Gary Gary May 30, 2013

    I am going to live every day as if its my last. I believe we have on life and we need to live it to the utmost… this became clear for me a couple of years ago when I had a near death experience it makes you realise life is precious and I have to do everything I want and not hold back, enjoy enjoy enjoy

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 31, 2013

      Thanks for sharing, Gary. An experience like you have sure has a way of putting things into perspective, doesn’t it?

  20. Mary Stephenson Mary Stephenson May 30, 2013

    Hi Corinne

    Good question! Perhaps we don’t know what we are supposed to be or what we are really supposed to do. Things have changed over the years for me and I reflect on where my mindset was 30 years ago. I am living an entirely different life, although somethings about it have not changed, but the mind has changed. Does it mean as we come to the end of our journey that we realize we have greater tasks to accomplish? Have we grown to realize what no longer is important as it was way back then? Perhaps we have to travel this road to acquire the understanding of what life is all about and the purpose of what we are supposed to do. If we don’t get it right, do we comeback here or somewhere else and set the record straight? Are we to meet people here to combine our energies, talents, understandings and mindset to do good now or later, as in the next time around?

    I think if we keep asking, then at least we realize there is a greater meaning to our lives than just to survive from day to day until we no longer take a breath. I feel like I have only scraped the surface of what the rest of my life is supposed to be like. Each day we need to follow and make progress to a deeper meaning and that will be different for everyone of us. I was thinking about my next door neighbor today and realize she is doing exactly what she should be doing. She is the perfect mom and grandmother, that is all she does, but it is so needed by her family. She will raise a good family. That is her calling.

    Great thoughts to think about.

    Mary

  21. jan jan May 29, 2013

    Such a heartwarming story, I’m a bit emotional because it brought tears to my eyes. Being the best I can be, trusting in my journey, knowing that I am doing all that I can to be the me I was meant to be is all I can do. It is a remarkable journey, one I share with wonderful people.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 31, 2013

      Jan, you are truly wonderful – the way you’ve turned your life around and are now staying so strong for yourself and the whole family is amazing. You are truly making a difference to many, including me, my dear friend.

  22. Steve Steve May 29, 2013

    I completely agree with my new belief of living everyday like its your last. Gotta make the most of what you got and if you haven’t got it, go and get it!

  23. Afshan Afshan May 29, 2013

    Such a bful story Corinne.
    To be yourself is for sure victory but at times we deviate from being so 🙁
    its challenging but worth it

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      Glad you liked it, Afshan. Funnily being ourselves is the hardest thing to do!

  24. Richa Singh Richa Singh May 29, 2013

    Corine… I loved the Rabbi example. It made me feel something really deep. It reminded me of one of John milton’s poems where he says that though I am blind I will continue to write because I am answerable to god for my talents. talents are not for free if I waste them he will punish me.

    This is what I intend to do, god has given me a very small portion of writing passion I intend to make best use of it..

    Richa

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      I’m glad the story of the Rabbi spoke to you, Richa. Personally, I’m not so much into a punishing God, at least not anymore. But yes, I do believe I that my unique gifts, talents and life experiences have been given to me to be used to the fullest. Good luck with your writing – may it continue to grow, as you do.

  25. Leah Leah May 29, 2013

    My hope is to live an authentic life and to share my love, lessons, wisdom…anything that I have acquired while here. I don’t want a bit of my suffering to be wasted. I want it used to help others see and grow.
    Keep up the good work here Corinne. Sending a big old hug!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      Thank you for sharing, Leah. You are definitely living the life you talk of.
      I love and respect you. ♥

  26. Jyothi Nair Jyothi Nair May 29, 2013

    So true. I am not sure if I can answer that either. Enjoy every moment as if it were your last. That is my mantra these days. Be happy, people around will automatically be happier people.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      I like the mantra you’ve adopted, Jyothi. It seems to be working well for you! 🙂

  27. Melissa Melissa May 29, 2013

    Wild and Precious ~ love how you described it 🙂

    I’m planning to take it into an adventure…at the moment, loving and enjoying every moment.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      Don’t you just love those words, Melissa? You are truly an adventurous woman and I have the highest respect for your willingness to venture deeper and deeper within yourself! ♥

  28. Harleena Singh Harleena Singh May 29, 2013

    Hi Corinne,

    Nice story, and yes – that is often a good question we all need to ask ourseleves…- what is it we are going to do with our precious life….my answer would be to live it out…every day. Yes, I know it gets overwhelming to catch up with everything – yet we do it, little by little. Managing your time, and taking up things that matter most is the key 🙂

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      Living life to the full every day is certainly the way to go, Harleena. What overwhelms us perhaps, is the outcome of wrong choices – trying to take on more than we can chew, or having the wrong priorities. If we keep life simple, I’m sure we can enjoy it more.

  29. Viren Viren May 29, 2013

    Your article got me thinking along the same lines. I really don’t know how I would react to that question.

  30. Shilpa Garg Shilpa Garg May 29, 2013

    This is one inspiring story and a very thought provoking question… Well, I’ll have to think some more before I can answer that!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      I love this story – because it really has no moral – just that we need to get deeper into enjoying and being ourselves. Glad you liked it, Shilpa!

  31. Suzy Suzy May 29, 2013

    I plan to enjoy every moment of my life. I don’t plan any more, I just go with the flow.

  32. Vidya Sury Vidya Sury May 29, 2013

    That’s a beautiful story! In this precious life, I want to make sure everyone remembers me with a happy smile.

    Thanks for the lovely prompt, Corinne!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | May 30, 2013

      This is one of my favorite stories of late. To bring a happy smile on people’s faces is surely a way to be remembered!
      I’m still catching up with all the posts and will read yours soon – I promise.

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