We hear it or read it all the time, YOLO! You only live once. And this is often a reason to do something indulgent. “YOLO, let’s party like rock stars.” “YOLO, let’s spend our savings and go to Cancun.” “YOLO, let’s eat a bowl of ice cream.” Every night. Even living only once as YOU, it still means you need to take care of yourself.
I’m not down on “Carpe Diem” – there’s a lot to be said for moving forward with momentum because this is your chance to shine, to accomplish something. There are some people who hold themselves back all the time from really great, rewarding experiences, thinking, “I’ll do it later.” Well, in that case, yes, seize that day! Just do it. Use those candles, sleep on the good sheets, eat on your best china, write that book, go out and change the world, travel to a faraway place and help people. Live your life fully.
But there are those times when we use the YOLO as an excuse to behave badly. It’s the fear factor. The fear of not enough… It’s the feeling in us that tells us to “do those drugs, make more money however you can, cheat, lie, steal a little, eat that cake, treat yourself… live it up, you’re only here once, who cares?” But, is this really living?
Really living it up means being present with intelligence and love. A lot of this indulgent behavior that follows a “YOLO” shouted out in public, on twitter, in the ether, is out fear. And giving into fear feels bad. It’s not a life well-lived when all choices are made out of fear. I’ve been there, and it’s a really shitty feeling. That fear of LACK… lack of time, money, food, resources, love… is killing our planet.
Marianne Williamson writes, “As we change our thoughts, we can change our world… In the realm of thought, there are two main categories: thoughts of love and thoughts of fear. Every single moment, we choose between the two. If I think with love, then I am more likely to behave lovingly and to attract love from others. If my heart is closed, I am more likely to act out of fear.”
Instead of using YOLO to gather up all the toys we can and keep them for ourselves, how about we use it as a clarion call to share our gifts, our strengths, our passions, our intelligence, our knowledge, and our love?
We need to be activists for love. We need to be pro-active in caring for the earth, plants, animals, rivers, oceans, and forests. We need to make sure no child is starving, and no family is living in a “food desert” with few good, healthy options. We need to create a work environment that supports everyone, including parents. We need to create a more expansive view of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We only live once so we need to make this life count, not just for our individual self, but also for everyone.
It’s time to do all those things you’ve always meant to – time to volunteer, time to create that organic garden, time to start composting, time to share your resources with the world, time to choose love instead of fear… That’s real living. Seize the day!
Filed Under: Blogs
About the Author: Tania Van Pelt is the creator of Happiness Series. She is a writer and content creator, working in film, tv, and online. She wrote the popular lifestyle book "Ageless Diet," published in late 2015. And she is currently working on her next book. She also developed a sitcom pilot set in the restaurant business called "Employees Only TV" and is developing another web series comedy about Denver.