What’s Your Relationship with Your Life?
5 questions may help you see your relationship with life in a fresh way.
Posted June 12, 2021 | Reviewed by Vanessa Lancaster
“Tell me about your life.”
Where does your head go? What do you start to think about? How do you think about your “life”?
For many, they immediately focus on the past, their minds create some montage of both good and bad scenes, or they make a video of some chronological march through the highlights of past years. For others, they more closely track their emotions and what they talk about is a summary about their present emotional state of affairs–my life is good, my life sucks–or maybe something more significant, a reflection perhaps on the past several years–it’s been good, bad, indifferent, filled with pain or moments of joy.
But what if you thought of your life as something more present, more active, not a label or portfolio of memories about where you’ve been but like a companion, separate from you but one that always walks beside you through this thing called life.
Can you imagine this? If you close your eyes, can you imagine if your life were an entity or person? Take your time…got it? Great. Okay, so what’s your relationship with your life like?
If you were roommates, how would you describe your relationship with your life?
We’re good-enough friends: We check in with each other and talk about how we’re doing, make sure we are both doing okay. Or, that we’re really best friends: We’re emotionally close, we share confidences, we feel like we are a team, got each other’s backs. Or, we don’t get along at all: We’re constantly criticizing each other; I feel she is always working against me or is unhappy about something and making me feel miserable. We’re on different pages, and there’s constant tension. Or, I try to never really think about her at all?
Can you trust and lean into your life, or is there continuous blaming and criticism or avoidance?
If your life is a close friend, then who tends to take the lead?
This is about whether you see your life as one that you build–where you take the lead, set goals, march forward, and your life follows along behind you. Or is it one where you discover your life–where your life is in the lead, that you trust its ability to guide and show the way, trust you will always wind up where you need to be, trust those small voices or instincts, and stay open to whatever path seems to open? Or is it some combination: At times, you are determined and focused and proactive, but other times you are curious or uncertain and willing to see what evolves? Which perspective do you take?
Do you like the path that you and your life are currently following?
Are you both going in the direction that you want to go, or is it a path you are both following because it is one that you traveled before, an approach that your life only knows? Or are you often struggling over what fork in the road to take? Is there a path less traveled that you want to explore?
If there is a conflict, can you and your life work it out?
This is about the conflicts that come up inside us–between the wants and shoulds, taking this path or another, or heart and mind. Can you hear and weigh both sides, or is your life more of a bully ceaselessly pressing you to do what it wants?
How do you want to change your relationship with your life?
What would you want to change about your relationship with your life? Stop with the criticism and be more gentle; help find a different course; give yourself the support and courage needed to take another road and help you see the dangers; let yourself take the lead and be quiet and simply follow behind for a while.
You and your life, a relationship like any other relationship. What do you appreciate, what do you want to change?