From Existing to Living

Updated: Aug 8, 2019


I recently celebrated my 60th birthday a couple of months ago and caused me to do some reflection on how I’ve grown.


It’s been on my heart to share something, with the hope that a little insight into my life will encourage you to move from existing to living.


So often, we just exist on this earth and not really live our lives to the fullest. We go through each day with our normal routine, doing the things we must do but not really living life.


Everything begins with a thought. You’ll never experience what your mind has not perceived. In Proverbs 23:7 it says “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is it.” Your thoughts truly form your world.


What’s the difference between existing and living?


Existing is when we simply do what we need to do to sustain life. You ensure you have a home, food, clothing, etc. It could even mean you are financially planning for your retirement.


Living means you truly enjoy life and aren’t just thankful that you woke up today, you actually enjoy your life.




I’m in that place now. I love my life!


It’s said that when we truly live our lives, we have clear, meaningful goals and a purpose, along with working toward fulfilling that purpose.


When we go through life just existing often times, we have no passion and no interest in what we’re doing. We just go through the motions. We get so used to our current state that we have no idea that we’re just existing.


I believe there comes a season that we should live! Don’t get stuck waiting on your season that you miss it.


If I can be transparent, let me share how I went from existing to living.


There was a time that life was hard. Dealing with self-esteem, abandonment and daddy issues, I found myself in a very abusive relationship and going through an extremely painful divorce while trying my best to hold it together for the only reason, my two children, while barely being able to make ends meet. Life was just down right difficult.


We’ve all had those times where life is just hard. It’s difficult and often times painful. I knew God hadn’t put me on this earth to just exist.


Without question, I was just existing on this planet and had been for most of my life. One day, I just began to pray and ask God to help me. I wanted to live. I was tired of existing.

I prayed for many months and I simply said “God I’m ready to live.” Day-by-day I started to look at my life differently. I looked with more excitement of where I was in life instead of looking at the past and continually dwelling on the painful, hard times.


One day I began to truly like the person I had become!


Simply, moving from existing to living starts with you. Living does not mean from a materialistic standpoint but your outlook on life. You don’t have to have a million-dollar lifestyle to really live. Those things can come to you if you work hard to get them, but if you’re still existing, you’ll probably never fully enjoy them because you’ve tried to make yourself happy with material things.


Focus on doing the work it takes to make sure you feel joy, no matter the outside work or your circumstances so that you are content with yourself.

Here are five quick tips I believe will help anyone that truly wants to experience joy and move from existing to living:

  1. Embrace who you are. Good, bad and ugly. We’ve all made mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself.

  2. Everyday find something positive to stay about yourself. Include those physical things you like about yourself, even a few you might not like as much but they are making you the amazing person you are! Remember, God created you just the way He wanted you to be.

  3. Speak life. The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of our tongue.

  4. Surround yourself with positive people.

  5. Embrace the journey. Take it one day at a time and be determined to live!

Bonus Tip: Journal! It gets things out of your head. It was life-changing for me.

© 2020 Janice M. Haynes LLC

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