A life well lived cannot be measured by salary, or title, or job satisfaction. Nor can it be measured by accolades, or friendships, or tasks accomplished. A life well lived cannot be measured in likes, or tags, or retweets.
A life well lived is measured by love, by sacrifice, by joy. A life well lived is measured by intention, by action, by motivation. A life well lived is measured by how many times you smiled when it would have been easier to glare, by how often you washed dishes you didn’t dirty, by how often you gave without reservation.
A life well lived is doing the hard things every time, especially when you least want to. A life well lived is often thankless, but that’s just fine. Living a life based on thanks received is not a life well lived.
In a life well lived, you are often asked to give more than you think you can handle. Often you are stretched to be more than you could ever imagine being. Sometimes you are brittle and crack instead of stretch. Learning how to heal your cracks or love the new shape they give you is part of a life well lived. People are all a little cracked. A life well lived is knowing this. A life well lived is loving cracked people. Cracked people are the only kind of people you know.
A life well lived hurts. Sometimes it hurts you and sometimes a life well lived can cause you to hurt others. Love hurts. Love hurts because growing hurts. A live well lived requires growth.
A life well lived cannot be measured in human terms. But a life well lived is a very human life. Because a life well lived is a life where You become the best You possible. And You are human.
A life well lived is a human life. That is who you are.
Be genuine. Be heartfelt. Be human. Be you.
Let the life within you, in all its shades and shadows and shimmering light, be well lived.
Photography: Nathan Congleton