I Will Live For You

photo by Robin Hali

In our everyday life of going to school, raising kids, paying the bills or making a living, we don’t often imagine who or what we would die for.

Maybe it’s only when we’re feeling a poetic fire, that we actually think about this.

Like last week, the little 5 year old child in my heart was weeping.

When I saw her pain, I felt intense devotion and declared to her:

“I would die for you!”

But then a more sensible voice spoke up and said:

“I will live for you!”

A small bolt of electricity surged through my body.

I got goosebumps as I remembered the first year I was really able to live for myself – when I moved to Montreal in 1993.

Fton to Montreal

With jedi focus, I’d saved my income since age 14 so I could leave New Brunswick.  At age 19, I finally had enough funds to support myself, switch universities and study filmmaking.

The Naysayers said:  You’re not going to amount to anything.  Who do you think you are?

My heart said:  Do it.  You’ve got to honor your passion or die a slow death.


photo by chris collacott

I will live for you!

1995. After graduating, I applied for the Canadian Academy of Cinema & TV’s screenwriting apprenticeship grant.

To my shock and delight, my screenplay (about an enchanted television which reveals your neighbours’ lives and secrets in intimate detail) won the national award.

Since I could choose any city in Canada to fulfill it, my heart beckoned me to go West.

The Naysayers said:  You don’t know anything about Vancouver yet you’re gonna pack up and move there?

My heart said:  I want to go.  I’m going.

The moment the plane landed in Vancouver, I felt the sensation of “arriving home” for the first time.


I will live for you!

1998. I was extremely jaded after working in the film industry for a few years. I needed a break to get into a better headspace.

My mind said:  You are insane!!!  You’ve worked so hard to get this far – how can you stop now??  You’ll regret this…

My heart said:  It’s FOR my sanity that I step away now. My self-work is more important than my career and besides, I feel that filmmaking will return to me later in life.

So I let go of all my prized industry connections and made a plan: I’d get a higher-salary “day job” for just a year or two (do my creative projects at night), save up money and focus on my inner healing.


It ended up being 3.5 years because along the way, I chose to financially support my sweetheart at the time.

“I will do this for him” became my motivation. 

My mind said:  I want to give him the time and freedom to really explore what his true calling is – so he can stop taking soul-draining jobs.

My heart said:  But how ironic that I am willing to constrict myself in a soul-draining job to facilitate his expansion and freedom!

Everyday, I dragged myself to that office and when I got home, I had no energy to focus on any creative projects.

My health declined and I even developed bleeding boils all over my forehead. They only healed when I took a short sabbatical but returned as soon as I went back to work.


I will live for you!

2001.  One day, I finally decided that I could not forsake myself any longer and I wrote my resignation letter on the bus.

My soul was beckoning me to the great Unknown – with no promises of security or financial safety – but with a promise of being free to express, create and live as I choose.

My fellow co-workers were shocked. Some placed a bet that I’d be back in a short while. Some who didn’t know me were so inspired that I was unshackling the golden handcuffs – they treated me to lunch to hear my story!

The Naysayers said:  Are you crazy?  How can you leave when you negotiated a permanent tenure, medical-dental benefits, a great salary and a specially-arranged 3-day work-week??

My heart said: I cannot do work that I do not enjoy.  I cannot be in a prison for 3-days a week. Not for any amount of money. Not for anyone.

Prior to this job, I’d only taken work that intrigued me.  Now I promised myself that I would never deviate from that again.



I will do this for him!

2002. I met an enchanting man whom I adored with all my heart. But soon, a series of very stressful circumstances became part of my life because of his choices and resulting chaos.

My heart said:  Being in this relationship is a sacrifice of my core values, my health and my joy.

My mind said:  He is your beloved!  You’ve got to give your all to this relationship and things will improve!

So I worked very hard at becoming the best person I could be – hoping it would benefit the relationship if I was more evolved.

The storm calmed because I stopped being triggered but the choices he made were still impacting our lives and my sacred values.



I will live for you!

2005. After 2.5 years juggling those compromising conditions, I ended the relationship.

My mind said:   You gave up on your beloved… someone whom you loved unconditionally!

My heart said:  I am the beloved.  I will honor my heart before all others.

Though I grieved the loss of our mutual dreams, I celebrated this new level of self-love.

It was a major spiritual alignment and every area of my life was elevated by this promise to my own heart.


Over the years, I’ve heard many people’s stories while working with them to uplevel their self-love.

The pattern in each person’s story has different details but contains the same teaching:

When you regularly sacrifice your true self and your needs for someone else’s benefit, you experience great limitation, duress and/or poor health.

When you regularly honor your heart and your dreams, you experience great freedom, joy and health.

Of course, both types of experiences are valuable paths to the same teaching.  (Many paths lead to Rome!)

Caveat #1: There is a difference between minor compromises and major sacrifices of your heart.

Examine what amount of accommodation is healthy for you and what amount becomes a detrimental sacrifice.

For example, parents who sacrifice their dreams or needs for the kids can become shadows of their former selves, ill, resentful or easily triggered.

Parents who remain committed to their own dreams while raising children, are happier, healthier and establish boundaries that benefit the family unit.

While it may feel heroic to live for someone else’s benefit, it takes even more courage to live for yourself.

It is an act of bravery to be true to who you are, how you feel and the purpose that comes from your own heart – not from guilt, expectation or obligation.


Gollum holding his “precious ring” (Lord of the Rings movie)

Don’t listen to those who say it’s selfish to live for yourself.

They don’t yet understand that a human being who truly lives for themselves feels empowered, joyful and inspired… not greedy, apathetic and narcissistic.

When someone is following their authentic path, they naturally want to love and GIVE to the world.

It is when someone is NOT living for themselves, that they become resentful, contracted and frustrated.

In that survival mindset, a person is easily triggered into defense, attack or escape mode.

Caveat #2:  Someone who acts with greed and aggression is not truly living for themselves – they are “fending for themselves” which is a very different state!

Inflated egos and complete disregard for other people are the results of feeling very threatened and are primal reactions from the fight or flight survival mode.


Honor yourself at home, at work and at play.

Since 2005, I’ve been happier than I’ve ever been and able to help more people than ever before.

You have all kinds of energy and resilience in the face of challenges when you are doing what you truly want.

When you are honoring your heart and your calling, you radiate life force and free will which are magnetic.

Likewise, those who inspire you are bravely living for themselves and their sacred dream. They are not slaves to other people’s judgments, accusations or control.

So please indulge the dreamer, adventurer and philosopher poet in your heart.

Close your eyes, place your hand over your heart and say with full commitment:

I will LIVE for you.

I will live for YOU.

Let every day of your life be a courageous exploration of what this means for you.

If you treat it as a sacred principle, you’ll see your happiness grow each day and you’ll contribute to the world in the most wondrous ways…


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I welcome your comments below… and curious to know:

How do the expectations or pressures of family, friends, society and industry impact your daily decisions and major life choices?


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