BBWO: BLACK BUSINESS WOMEN ONLINE

Vicarious Living: When You're Not Living At All

Once upon a time, I lived a vicarious life. I had always had my own hopes,
dreams, and activities, but I somehow got caught up in a new way of life.
You really can't see it coming until it has already overtaken you mentally.
My fiance' was involved in many different activities back in the day, and he
always let me take part without any objections. His life just seemed much
more exciting!! I became so caught up in what he was doing that it felt
like I , too, was living this exciting life at the same time without any
effort. When our relationship came to a brief halt, my world fell apart
because I realized that I did not really have a "life".

My world went from Never ending Sunshine to an Abyss of Darkness within 72
hours. All of my friends were his friends; my activities were actually his
activities, etc. The amazing part is he never put a gun to my head and told
me to do any of these things. I claimed these things as extensions of
myself without actually owning the extensions. So, you know how the story
went after that... I sat at home too depressed to do something about it, and
I was mad as hell. I realized a bit too late that I had been living life on
the sidelines, yelling at everyone else to work hard, and reaping the
rewards. Oops! Perhaps, you can identify if you are living vicariously
before your life source is cut away, and you're left to deal with trying to
light your own life source in the midst of pain.

There are many people who live vicariously and never have to deal with any
issues of being cutoff for a very long period of time. The biggest examples
of those that lead vicarious lifestyles are parents that force their
children to pursue every avenue that they may have not succeeded in their
childhood and place unnecessary pressure upon their children. When the
children reach a level or the age of maturity, many cut their parents life
source and begin living their own lives. This is a tragic moment where many
parents turn to drinking, bitter behavior, or just enter a deep depression.

It's the same way in long term relationships where you are awfully close to
someone and you benefit from their life without having to put forth the same
effort as they are. You get bitter whenever they don't succeed because that
means you don't succeed. It's a horrible cycle that can go on as long as the
relationship with the life source exists or until they cut you off.

By living vicariously, you place the responsibility of your life and
emotions on a day to day basis upon the shoulders of other people. That is
simply not a fair trade off. You can not make someone else responsible for
what you are not attempting to do for yourself. The other people in your
life will feel the pressure, and they will realize at some point that they
may not possibly be able to keep you happy.

Let's try these steps to branch out and claim your own plot in life:

* Stop Latching onto your loved one or friend's life as your own.
* Little by little set aside time for you - Call it "ME TIME".
* Discover YOU.
o Who are you really?
o What do you like to do for fun?
o What types of books, movies, or music do you like?
o What are your hopes, dreams, and wishes?
* Start enjoying your own gifts and talents that you discovered.
* Take life day by day.

Understand that the world is not expecting you to be an overnight success,
but if you are consistent in your efforts, you will be rewarded with a new
lease on life and fulfillment. Think about it - You have so much more to
share that you are now an individual and not an entity sucking the life out
of everyone else. You'll avoid having to pay for the consequence of not
having your own life if and when the light source is extinguished. Be
consistent and much success!!

Much Love,
Nikki

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