A ‘Perfect’ Life

by Rachel Hall, Australia

Eight years ago I had what I thought was the ‘perfect life’ – it ticked all the boxes and fulfilled all my childhood dreams and ambitions. I had a University education, great job, flash car, big house, swimming pool, beautiful partner, two dogs, loads of friends, a jam packed social life, a fit body and incredible holidays. Not bad for a working class kid from inner city UK. I had become the success I always said I would become…. But under the facade of this successful life was the feeling that something was missing, and the more I had the more I wanted; so I bought CDs, books, food, the newest TV, flash sports gear, gym memberships, games consoles, computers and so on like they were going out of fashion.

Back then if you had asked me “was I successful?” I would have without hesitation said “yes of course, look at what I’ve got”. However, looking back my relationships were shallow and quite dysfunctional – especially the relationship with myself.

I disconnected from my body, pushing it beyond its limits, relying on caffeine and carbohydrates to get through my day… and falling into bed exhausted after a couple of bottles of beer to help me ‘relax’ and ‘unwind’. But this was no different to the life everyone around me was living, and compared to many of my friends and family I was doing really well – yet my body was telling me otherwise as I was in constant pain and felt anxious or out of my depth most of the time.

One day I stopped and took stock of the life I was living. Slowly I realised that although I seemingly had it all, it actually didn’t feel right as inside I felt unsatisfied and exhausted with trying to keep up the pace of life and the picture of success I was living. “Work hard, play hard, party hard and be hard” was my motto. Was this really the life I wanted?…. where I was cynical, distant, competitive, driven, in pain, anxious, short-tempered and self- centred. A life where I had come to measure my self-worth on the job that I did and the things that I had – and not on the person I was.

What happened to the dreamy-eyed little girl who was full of life, vitality and innocence? Is this what she pictured for herself when she was growing up?

If I could go back and ask her, “when you grow up would you like a big house, fast car, good job? Would you like a partner that loves you for you, respects you and treats you as an equal? Would you like to feel alive and fulfilled?” She would most likely say “yes”.

But if I asked her, “when you grow up would you like a body that hurts all the time? Would you like to be so exhausted that you need food and stimulants to get through the day? Would you like friendships based on common interests, such as competitive sport and drinking alcohol, but that lack true connection on a personal level? Would you like to be successful but still feel there should be more than this?” She is most likely to say “no”.

So why do we accept less for ourselves as adults than the child growing up would wish for? Has our idea of success become so warped that we are prepared to give up on who we are to have it? Perhaps what we were told is a successful life actually isn’t it after all.

I began to question what success meant for me, and how I could go about applying that to my life.

Success for me meant:

Relationships based on connection, love and equality where there was openness, honesty and the ability to express freely.

To be able to be vital, joyful and full of life.

Doing a job I loved and was passionate about.

Being able to work in a way that did not exhaust me.

Exercising with respect for what my body can handle.

Eating foods that are supportive of my body and leave it feeling nourished.

Not needing caffeine or alcohol to function.

Knowing that everyone is just like me as on the inside we are all essentially the same; and treating people that way.

Taking pleasure in simplicity.

Feeling satisfied and purposeful.

From here I began making changes in my life, in the way I treated myself and others, along with the way I worked. I changed my diet, cut back on my coffees, started going to bed earlier, drank less and not as often, took time for myself, stopped exercising to extremes. I focussed on the people I worked with rather than only the task at hand. I became more caring and considerate of others and stopped getting so emotionally involved with things that didn’t concern me.

These changes came about from my willingness to be honest and honour my feeling that even though I had on paper what appeared to be a great life, it was a sham if deep down I wasn’t truly happy, lacked vitality, and had achieved it by sacrificing the quality I had when I was a little girl. I didn’t do it all alone as I was inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine. I started bringing gentleness into my life and used the gentle breath meditation as a tool to reconnect to myself and feel where my body was at. Gradually, the feeling that I started to build in my body changed my idea of what does and doesn’t constitute success for me. It would have been easy to say ‘no thanks, my life is great’ and ignore that my body and my emotional state were telling me it simply wasn’t so. However, I had reached a point where I could no longer ignore that nagging feeling that there was more to life and more to who I am than the job that I do and the things that I have.

These changes didn’t happen overnight but were and still are a work in progress.

Ironically, because of the choices I have made I would now be considered more successful than ever with my own business, flasher car, bigger house, more income and great relationships. But for me the measure of my success is that eight years on I have a body that is free from pain 95% of the time, I no longer feel anxious or pressured, my relationships with myself, my partner, family and friends are more loving and honest. I feel more able to express myself and say how I feel and am willing to work on myself and any unresolved emotional issues that I have. I sleep well and feel full of energy and do not need caffeine, alcohol and excess food to get through my day. I love my job and have a sense of satisfaction and purpose. I have passion for life and feel just like I did when I was a little girl. Now to me the definition of success and a life worth living is a life based on love, a life where I know who I am.

237 thoughts on “A ‘Perfect’ Life

  1. My life although not perfect is successful as it is deeply loving and never giving up on expressing naturally our connection, it has become more successful when I have allowed it to unfold rather than wanting to control and take charge, it feels contradictory but it is the truth. When I let go, let more of the control of how Life and others have to be, miracles happen more and more.

  2. The word success conjures a lot in me. I certainly have fallen for the belief that success meant having a lot of money and that was what life was all about but I started to observe those in my life that had money and noticed they weren’t content in fact far from it. I realised I had placed success with money big time and today can still feel this belief although to a much lesser degree. It is making me realise the intensity with which I have become so attached to something that is far from the truth and how important it is to feel all that which I have allowed and have been fooled by taking on this simple belief yet it feels like in the world a huge and massive lie.

  3. This shows how we have contorted words from what they truly are, how can we call something successful when only a part of us is striving but many other parts are compromised if not in very poor condition. And the crazy thing is that we all deep down know but continue to live the same way. So thank God for Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon to show that there is another way, a true way of living our life.

  4. I am reading this through fresh eyes this morning. “But under the facade of this successful life was the feeling that something was missing, and the more I had the more I wanted”. How often do we all see and hear that, so often we think the holiday will fix a problem, or the TV with give us the pleasure we are searching for, or even that the relationship will ease our loneliness. Yet the relief they offer us is just that – relief. How we live in our day to day determines how we use all the opportunities, the things we have and the relationships we are in. It is us that is the key, us and the relationship we then have with everything and anything outside of us. So developing our relationship on the inside is the start of a most stunning relationship with everything and everyone else on the outside.

  5. It is easy to compare ourselves with others and believe our lives to be successful when we can tick off all the external things such as house, holidays, social life, good job, well liked etc, but what are we using as our marker, other people’s success, our own achievements, our goal in life, these all come from outside ourselves, the greatest marker is our own body, and as you say Rachel your body is 95% free of pain, it is so worth making changes to our life, to be more honest and open with ourselves and others, because we truly enjoy life and not about the things that we do, it’s about our body first, as that tells us everything we need to know.

  6. Trying to hunt down the perfect life (the picture we all carry around) is utterly futile. We go round and round the same merry go round looking here, thinking we have found it there. It amazes me how ridiculously simple the answer is – why do I never look at everything I’ve already got, without the need for everything else?

    1. So true Simon, when we feel like something is missing, really we should turn inwards to seek the fulfillment, rather than outwards.

  7. So many people feel overwhelmed with life and/or stuck in old patterns in relationships, settling for less, and give up, so to have passion for life is the fuel to fire up our engines, to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty.

  8. ‘a life where I know who I am’ now that is something to shout about and sadly something that in all the rush, the rush to success. we can miss … do we stay us, or get a little lost, and if we do then we can come back, but it’s that honesty to see how we are, how we live and to take those steps to live in a way that includes a deep relationship with ourselves and all around us.

  9. There is a powerful re-definitition of success that you express here Rachel. If we make success just abut how much money we earn, and the size and make of car we can afford we short-change the success we all deserve to claim in our lives, because without love and connection, the car and the money are props that run out of funk…. they can never compensate for the real success each of us longs to have.

  10. I appreciate now how although we can think we are doing well in our mind and appear successful from what we are doing or how much we have achieved in our life, our body always lets us know the truth of what is going on within us providing an opportunity to honestly look within ourselves and at our lifestyle choices and build our awareness to make changes that support a more harmonious way of being with ourselves and with others.

  11. Thank you Rachel – I love the way you have shared what being successful is truly about for you! And so it is not about the material wealth we gather, but more so to do with the quality of life in terms of our relationships with ourselves and others!

  12. True success lies in our vitality, joy and love that we hold in life on the day to day basis, not in the material goods that we may collect. Like Rachel experienced many years ago, we may think that we ‘have it all’ but deep inside there is a knowing that this is not ‘it’, that there is more, and this has to do with the quality that we bring to each moment – quality of deep care, love, honouring and respect and equality and never compromising this over the demands that can come from all around us. A challenge for us all to keep developing this, in a world that wants us to deny it in all ways possible.

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