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How do you define the difference in living and existing?

July 16, 2010

I spent the greater part of my life merely existing, and was completely unaware. Sure I had agreeable times and bad ones, but I was not really living. I thought that to live meant to survive and this is far from living. In my mid-thirties, I recognized that I was neglecting to celebrate and experiment with new things. I learned that living means encountering a wide variety of feelings, rather than avoiding them. It is being in-tune with the world around you. It is when you understand yourself and other people. It is when you can listen with sincerity and respond to another authentically. Living is nature relating to you, and you, understanding in return. This is what makes me feel alive!

How do you define the difference in living and existing?

  

7 Comments to “How do you define the difference in living and existing?”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Hendricks, Sandra Hendricks. Sandra Hendricks said: RT @thisshouldhelp2 How do you define the difference in living and existing? http://bit.ly/9I89jc [...]

  2. Oh Sandra I can so relate to this. I wish I could say that I had only spent part of a year existing. I spent a lot longer existing – in fact like many people I spent years doing it.

    I was up in the morning at 6.00 am, at my desk in the city by 7.30 am, back home exhausted by 7 or 8 in the evening and in bed by 11.00pm. I spent my weekends catching up with chores and recovering from the week. It was not living.

    For me, I am most alive in the countryside around my home, in my garden and with people.

    Thank you for a wonderful reminder, on a very wet day in Scotland, as to just how lucky I am.
    .-= Marion Anderson´s last blog ..Self confident people don’t worry about what you think of them =-.

    • Sandra says:

      After reading your comment Marion, I realized that I had forgotten something in the post, so I will incorporate it here. “Living is having what you want and wanting what you have.” Thank you for sharing. It is nice to know that other people have mistaken as much as I.

  3. RT @thisshouldhelp2 How do you define the difference in living and existing? http://bit.ly/9I89jc

  4. How do you define the difference in living and existing?: I spent the greater part of my life merely existing, and… http://bit.ly/cBufVl

  5. RT @thisshouldhelp2 How do you define the difference in living and existing? http://bit.ly/9I89jc

  6. RT @CoachScotland: RT @thisshouldhelp2 How do you define the difference in living and existing? http://bit.ly/9I89jc

  7. Marko V. says:

    RT @thisshouldhelp2 How do you define the difference in living and existing? http://bit.ly/9I89jc

  8. Dia says:

    Hi Sandra,

    I think the main difference between living and existing is that when we “live” we are having goals that we want to accomplish. However, existing means we don’t have a real goal that makes us go after. It is important to get to the point where we start living, not just existing.

    .-= Dia´s last blog ..Improve your confidence =-.

  9. Hi Sandra, interesting story, I’m glad you shared it with us.

    “How do you define the difference in living and existing?”

    I think that the “existence” is paying attention to things that are not in the present moment.

    Allow me to explain it more. I spent a part of my life in suffer and personal stagnation… Instead to see beauty that is happening in front of me, I complained about what happened before or after that moment. I was constantly worried about the future, or regret about something that I did before. My mind had no peace. Then I came out of that condition. I started to enjoy the present moment.

    I began to live and grow. My mind is less concerned, and the more joyful.

    That is (for me) the difference between living and existing. Life is taking place now.

    .-= Marko — Calm Growth´s last blog ..Why Some People Make Mistakes And Still Have Success =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Very nice Marko, I like how you explained the difference in existing and living. “My mind had no peace. Then I came out of that condition. I started to enjoy the present moment.” Thank you for sharing your insight and experience. :)

  10. Sandra Lee says:

    Sandra, like you, I also spent a good part of my life on automatic. It’s hard to say exactly when I woke up and I would say that waking up is a lifetime process. You describe quite well already the difference between existing and living consciously quite well. I would say it has a lot to do with not grasping onto whatever occurs and not pushing it away either. All the best to you.

    .-= Sandra Lee´s last blog ..Oil spill- fresh perspectives =-.

  11. Frank says:

    Living vs Existing. Great Question. I think it is a matter of fulfilling a purpose vs going through the motions of everyday life. My writing partner actually wrote a post about this very thing. Stream of Consciousness It is a question that requires deep reflection on your purpose.

    .-= Frank´s last blog ..Did You Just Kick Me =-.