What is a Life Wish?
Having a Life Wish - or many - and being aware of their existence, possibilities, and sheer force can be the ultimate life energy booster! Because once we understand that we can make life-affirming wishes - we learn of the uniqueness and partly invisible nature of these personal pursuits, and we can begin to understand the nature of the journey others are on. We can see that the path we are on is similar to the way others must travel - easy or difficult. We can see them as we see ourselves in a new way, with empathy and compassion, because we know that none of us know everything about affirming life. As smart as we can be, there is no expert about us better than ourselves, and each of us is a lifelong apprentice at best.
One way to think about a Life Wish is that it's having the desire to be open and connect to the most personally inspiring and motivating aspiration for your own life.
Think of a neurosurgeon and (assuming you're not one) trying to imagine what it's like to be one. And that same neurosurgeon trying to think what it's like NOT to be one. Both of you have NO idea, really, how it feels to be that other being...on that other journey...in that other experience. There are words and language that can be used to try to explain it...but language, though it can sometimes access and invoke experience, it can't duplicate it and install it in another human being without the rework and reconstruction our own emotional and psychological lenses will do with it, to transform it in OUR rendition of the felt experience.
And yet, realizing the impossibility of one hundred percent access to the experience of others can finally give you a break from a false pursuit...and liberate you to be free to honor self-expression. A life wish, however shared, however acted on, and whatever part that is visible and held in shared awareness, can be celebrated and enjoyed for its own sake.
We're an infinite field of life wishes all so unique - alone - and yet we're all together, walking with each other. The energy, to live, is all around and in us. It's in that shared energy where all life wishes can be found and adopted.
A Life Wish can be a quest for connection to something beyond our immediate reach. It can also be a returning to contentment within ourselves. The safety and love and comfort we seek are in knowing we're all part of a life wish, a story, with chapters of our own making...our design...our own felt experience. Each life wish is the truest expression of you being you, the one and ONLY you that has ever been or will be. It's sacred and yours.
We can honor the many different expressions of life wishes all around us - to borrow some energy or gain some wisdom from the stories of others that tell us how to keep making the wishes that give our lives meaning.
I was delighted by life on a daily basis in childhood. I loved the sun, the flowers, the clouds, and dancing in the warm summer rain on my grandmother's driveway. I had dreams of what my life would be like as I continued to grow. Dreams are just multiple wishes that work together to motivate us towards something beautifully significant.
As I grew up, I traded my wishes for work. That was the wrong trade to make. I can work and still wish. My wishes can change to lift my heart and delight my mind no matter how challenging the work of adulting becomes for me. When I stopped wishing for what makes my life beautiful (in moments or other matters of importance), I lost my joie de vivre (joy of living). That joy was still available to me no matter how hard I focused on the work my life required. I had slowly traded wishes for working - the work of school, relationships, career, housework, and upkeep of self.
That trade doesn't have to be made - I can have both. I can be dedicated to living responsibly and feel proud of the work it takes to be me in the world. I can also make wishes about my life that may not be as big as the dreams I had in childhood but that brings beauty and joy into my moments, my days, or more. Maybe, we dream so much in childhood to inspire the work to be done as adults. Let's keep the inspiration alive, at whatever level we can, no matter the age.
How to make a Life Wish.
The free So Worthy App offers a path that provides insight into which ideas support life wishes. www.soworthy.app
1. Life Wishes are personal. They give us renewed energy to live for a moment, a day, a year, and more.
2. Life Wishes are unique. What gives one person energy is different or special to that person.
3. Life Wishes are as simple or complex as is useful to the person wishing.
4. Life Wishes allow us to open up to possibilities that bring value to living.
5. Life Wishes are always worth making.
Why should we start talking about making life wishes?
The idea for being overt and purposeful about this idea is because contemplating death is often silent, isolating, and disconcerting for the person who starts down that path. We talk about suicide prevention - so let's also look at what we can understand about what is life-affirming. The questions we have asked ourselves includes, "What if we can shift the discussion away from the edge, earlier?"
"Why stay alive? What good am I, really? What is the point of continuing this pain?" Notice these aren't questions...answers aren't expected. These are statements of someone trying to make up their mind, to be the judge and jury of a case they've brought against themselves. Unfortunately, only one side of the case is being heard and the trial is rigged.
With this awareness as a backdrop - the varied reasons to think about or respond to change - we can begin to discern how complex the forces are that cause anyone to turn away from a life wish and instead consider the opposite, a death wish. Though never expressed this way (no one walks into a conversation and says, "I now have a death wish,") there are real reasons and avenues people explore that change their view of their existence, causing them to begin to wonder about the value of maintaining it.
The place of making a death wish is a lonely place. The place appears to have no doors out, no possibilities beyond the dark room the person is in - disconnected (even from choices still available). A person outside that darkened room is needed to reach in and reconnect - giving the darkness warmth, at first, and then a little light. Hopefully, the person lost in their unjust trial will not only see the light brought by a loved one but will shift back into creating their own again.
Questions to raise and pursue answers to:
1. What is the first step(s) a person takes away from life wishing?
2. How do I reverse course when I am moving away from life-affirming thinking?
3. What signs will make me aware that I am several steps away from my life wishing path?
4. Are small life wishes as powerful as bigger life wishes?
"After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, the changes of season - the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night." -Walt Whitman
*Suicide Prevention Resources are available here- https://afsp.org/suicide-prevention-resources