What Life Will You Choose For Yourself?

what life will you choose

“Everything you do is by choice. It may not seem so, but it is…” – Louise Hay

In 2012 I had the worst year of my life.

I worked in a finance job that I hated and I lived in a concrete jungle city with little greenery. I occupied my time with meaningless relationships and spent copious quantities of money on superficialities. I was searching for happiness and had no idea where to find it.

Then I fell ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and became virtually bed bound. I had to quit my job and subsequently was left with no income. I lived with my boyfriend of then only 3 months who financially supported me and our relationship was put under great pressure. I eventually regained my physical health, but not long after that I got a call from my family at home to say that my father’s cancer had fiercely progressed and that he had been admitted to a hospice.

I left the city and I went home to be with him.

He died 6 months later.

My father was a complete inspiration to me. He was always so strong that, for a minute after he drew his last breath, I honestly thought he would come back to life. I couldn’t believe I would never again cuddle into his big warm chest and feel safe no matter what.

The grief that followed was intense for all of us 5 children and our mother, but we had each other.

But my oldest sister at that time complained of a bad back. It got so bad after 2 months that she too was admitted to hospital.

They discovered that she had highly advanced cancer in her bones and that there was nothing that they could do.

She died 1 month later.

I could never put into words the loss of my sister in my life.

She was a walking, talking angel and my favourite person in the whole world. If someone could have asked me the worst thing that could ever happen, it would have been losing her.

She was my soul-mate and I never thought I would journey this lifetime without her.

The Moment Of Deliberate Choice

The shock and extreme heart break brought me to my knees. The pain was so great and my world just looked desolate. I had no real home, no money, no job, and no friends that cared. Not one person had even sent me a sympathy card for my loss.

I made an attempt of my own life and I ended up in hospital.

I remember lying in the hospital bed, looking up at the ceiling and seeing my sister’s beautiful face. She stayed with me all night long.

I realised during that night that I had a choice. I could choose to end my life or I could choose to live it.

I looked in my sister’s eyes and I made a decision not to go with her just yet. That I would stay and complete my journey here.

I also made the decision that, I wouldn’t just live any life. I would live the life that I absolutely LOVE and nothing less.

In that moment, the clarity that descended around me was like a light shining in a dark room for the first time. As if the earth’s plates had shifted under my feet and everything suddenly looked real for the first time.

The Blossoms Of My Newly Chosen Life

Since then I have begun to shape the most beautiful life for myself.

I now live in an adorable stone cottage in a stunningly green, luscious region of the UK amongst woodlands and lakes.

I have a deeply harmonious, joyful relationship with my amazing boyfriend, who’s gone through all this with me and we are very happy together.

I write a blog that inspires others to live the life that they love. It is what I know I was born to do and it truly makes my heart sing.

I am making new friends with beautiful souls all around the world.

I practise gratitude for my life every single day and I feel the abundance in everything I have now.

I spend quality time with the rest of my precious family and cherish every moment I have with them.

I have written a bucket list and am already manifesting so much of which I have always dreamed.

I connect with my heart often to ensure that I am always chasing my joy.

I love myself more deeply every day.

I live authentically now.

Waking Up

It took something powerfully transformative in my life to make me wake up. Wake up to some fundamental truths of life.

This life is a gift if you want to accept it. No matter what the obstacle, you can make your life abundant with joy and you can live authentically.

Not a day goes by when I don’t miss my father’s huge character or my beloved sister’s gentle brown eyes, but I know that I will be with them one day for an eternity. What I have now is so precious and so fleeting that I must grasp the joy in every moment I can, and treat it as the gift that it is.

You choose life every day. But do you choose the life that you love every day?

Photo by + Rainbow +

30 thoughts on “What Life Will You Choose For Yourself?”

  1. Thank you so much for writing this. I am sorry about your Dad and Sister, but glad you have got a good life now.

    I am from the UK, and am currently living in Nova Scotia, Canada. I have been here six months and I love it here, it is so beautiful near the ocean and lakes and so clean and everyone here is so friendly, but I miss my family and strangely enough my old job and work colleagues, we had a good laugh and I still have a chance to return to this, if I choose, but I am so torn and tired from thinking so much.

    I am trying to make the decision of whether to go back home to my old life and job or to stay out here. I miss family so much, as I am all alone here, but my Dad told me today not to come back just for them.

    I am so torn between where I want to be, do I give up everything I have in the UK and give this a really good try or do I come back to the UK just to be closer to family. I don’t like where I lived before, as it was a small town with too much litter and yobs etc and was all built up with nowhere to go or anything to do. Where I am now, I live right next to a lake and walking trails etc and it is beautiful….so confused and torn between family and my old job and a new life here…. I wish I knew what to do, so tired of my brain thinking and getting nowhere……..

  2. Wow, what a wonderful ending to your tragic story. (As I’m sitting here wiping the tears from my eyes.) How did you get from where you were to where you are? I feel like I read all types of stories from tragic to happy, but how did you get from one to the other, how long did it take? I find myself NOT happy in my life, I have a good job, a great child, a house, a car all that “stuff”, which I am very grateful for, but I’m not happy. I just can’t find my way to happiness…just wondering what your “map” looked like!!

  3. Wow! I thought I had a bad 2012, but I just lost my mother in law who I was very close to. Our family has had a number of challenges in 2013, too. But I love your perspective!! Your boyfriend sounds a lot like my husband….super supportive. :) I have a sign hanging in my office that reads “Tough times don’t last, Tough people do.” I bet you can identify with that, too. <3 My saying has become life will either make you "bitter" or "better." So glad you chose the later. Thanks for sharing your heartbreaking, but inspirational story.

  4. Simply wonderful, Tess. I think sometimes words become irrelevant. So it is in this case, after reading your article. Words seem irrelevant. I just feel.
    Sending you a smile and a lot of positive energy to continue living the life you desire and deserve :).

  5. Hello Tess–

    Where can I follow or find your blog?
    I’m waking up too;) surrounding my mind and heart with guidance and knowledge such as this…
    Thank you

  6. That’s nice – how do you know that feeling will last though? I felt good for a while (for about a year after bouncing back from a low) and lately am back to being stuck in job-hating hell feeling my life is an utter waste worthless and wanting to die. I want to simply choose feeling great but I can’t actually bring myself to believe it since it failed me once and part of me knows it’s fake/BS. I can muster feeling good for a day or two and then the cold disgusting reality closes in on me again realizing the unfairness arbitrariness, and unimportance of it all and the futility of all my efforts…

  7. Good morning,
    really appreciate your story and your search for meaning in your life. I am on this path not always a smooth path but still trying to remain on it.
    Where can I connect to your blog so I can read your story.

    Kind Regards,


  8. Tess, thank you so much for being so open and vulnerable. While I have not suffered the death of such important relatives in a short time frame as have you, much of the remainder of your story resonated deeply with me. I struggle daily with the question of whether or not I could truly “choose” a beautiful life for myself, or whether I am simply not destined for a life filled with love, beauty, and friendship — the life that you now enjoy. I have 2 amazing children, one of which is living in the UK on study-abroad right now. They are my reason for going forward each day. But your story inspires me to think that maybe, just maybe, I could “choose” something more for myself. I hope I can transform my life as you have yours. Bless you for sharing. You deserve the life you have now! <3

  9. Wow, that was amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t even begin to imagine what you must have been going through. Good luck in the future! I have a feeling your future is very, very bright.

  10. Hi Tess,
    After a hard day at work, reading your blog was very worthwhile. Very inspiring. As I was reading, I realized that I was in your shoes 8 years ago when my dad passed away from a vehicular accident. He was my pillar of strength. But I thought of my mom and brother..I still had them and our life has to continue. There is still that big empty hole in my heart until now. 8 years had passed I still find myself crying for the loss of my Dad. But it always remind me that life has more to offer.
    Now I am living thousand miles away from my mom and brother. We are all at differnet countries of the world. My life here in the UAE is so reduntdant. Work+home+sleep. Sometimes I am even asking..when will this end? Good thing I can find good reads like these that cheers me up. Every single day I wake up…I thank God, I still am able to open my eyes and see the world. I always whisper to myself, this will be a good day to me even though at times it turns out to be not good at all. I like to see things in a positive way, a trait I saw from my father. Life gives us so may options..it really depends on the person how they want to handle it. Thank you again story.

  11. Hi Tess

    Wonderful post…..good for you – your positivity and kindness just shine through your words – what beautiful energy you have. Can you let me know how to view your blog please….I would be so interested to read more : )

    Thanks and Bless You xx

  12. Hi,

    What a lovely and amazing story that you chose, lived and are unfolding. I so appreciate your capacity to choose when the road was opened of taking the left or right path and choosing your own path beyond right and wrong. Life is a journey in the smalles of moments and in the rituals of intiation such as loosing those that you deeply care about. I lost my mom about three weeks ago. She opened my body’s capacity to feel so much pain, sadness and expaneded love and connection. The body journey’s through many things and we have a choice at all times on how we “use” it to lean into and surrender to life.

    I take your story and it brings more presence, opening and connection to my choosing. I wish you continued life-affirming choices and I appreciate your inspiration. Be well and beyond.



  13. Thank you so much for writing this. I lost my baby 2 months ago, he was born still. I struggle everyday with the decision to be hopeful in a world that seems so full of things we don’t understand and hurt us so much. Reading about your journey fills me with strength and gives me what I need most: hope. Thank you.

  14. Hi Tess,
    I just read your heartfelt story with tears in my eyes. I’m sending you tons of hugs across the miles right now, and am also – like you – practicing gratitude. I am grateful that you decided to live, and share your warm and loving heart with others.

    You are making this world a better place. I’m so sorry for your personal and tragic losses in your family; and hope that peace has begun to heal the pain. From your beautiful words, I suspect that you are enjoying more and more peace. :) Blessings to you!

    :) Hugs,

  15. Thanks for sharing your story. I feel what’s missing is the details on specific steps for going from penniless and hospitalized to “living the life you love in a lovely cottage with a lovely boyfriend”.
    I lost a job this summer and nothing I have tried has moved me any closer to earning more money or knowing how to stay out of a homeless shelter once my welcome with my family has worn off (I am an unwelcome intruder in their lives/home).
    You may have been blessed, but many of us are not so fortunate. You cannot simply wish for things to get better.

  16. Losing a loved ones is something I can’t bear until now. Their memories are fleeting everyday, and it hurts like hell “how can I supposed to live my life without them anymore?”

    Today I still wake up, preparing myself for a job that I don’t like. Sure it can feed me financially, but not my soul.

    I guess I am just afraid of changes.

    Loved ones go, happy times dissolved, I am starting to forget them bit by bit, and I hate that. But I know that I am not alone now.

    Thank you for your post, I hope you are blessed with happiness from now on.

    Deep hug for you! Stay strong and healthy!

  17. Thanks for your article! No wonder why you feel that your blog and writing is what makes your heart sing because you surely manage to get through people and be an inspiration with your words. I do believe that making a little difference in someone´s life even if its just with words, is a great thing to do in our little time here on earth.

    I am sorry about your loss as well, but as you say, sometimes it is exactly through the most difficult times that we are in a way stripped from all the layers that impede us to see through whats really important in life and reconnect with that. Once again, thanks for such an inspirational article. I will check out your video and get back to read here.

    I am a Mexican girl living in Sweden for almost 8 years now, and even though I feel happy here I always feel like I am missing so many things with my family back in Mexico and after all, my family really is what means the most to me. The thought of moving back is always there so the advice you gave to Emma really resonated with me.

    All the best,


  18. Hi Tess,

    If my dad will be with me today, he will just ask me, Are you happy where you are right now? If not, come back home and I will settle things for you. That would be exactly his words to me. Knowing him as a very thoughtful father.

    You put me into tears again Tess.


  19. Wow! Talk about some hard knocks. I have had some tough circumstances in my own life. I think you made a good choice and it’s great to see that your own a positive journey. Keep it up!

  20. Wonderful post. I am so happy, Tess that you have been able to see the light at the end of the dark tunnel. Your grief at the loss of the beloved ones is moving and authentic but even they would like sunshine in your life on earth. God’s grace is upon you that you have summoned the courage to live on your terms cheerfully, which is reflected on your lovely face. ” The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. “

  21. Thankyou for courageously sharing your difficult story. I have been experiencing some serious digestive trouble for the past 2 months which has kept me in bed much of the time so it’s great for me to read stories about people regaining control of their life! x

  22. Hi Tess,
    Really an amazingly moving, amazingly written, inspirational story. I had tears in my eyes while reading but you left me very hopeful. I was reminded of a quote by Adyashanti, “Sometimes we need a nightmare in our lives to force us to wake up.” I’m sure we all wish at times that life didn’t have to be so difficult, but you show us that from the seeds of deep tragedy, beautiful things can be born.
    Lots of love,

  23. It really is a matter of perspective, isn’t it Tess? How we weave tapestries into each other’s lives. I went home to my mom and dad’s house for Thanksgiving. They’re in their 70’s and fears they haven’t dealt with beforehand are magnifying and manifesting. I don’t want to be in that place. In fact I want to put my focus on the beauty and magnificence around me. Your story was an invitation to do just that. Thank you.

  24. Ladyfriend that was an awesome story, you are my inspiration, even though so far i haven’t been through your struggles. Im happy for you and you’re beautiful.

    Peace, Harry

  25. “I am making new friends with beautiful souls all around the world.

    I practise gratitude for my life every single day and I feel the abundance in everything I have now.

    I spend quality time with the rest of my precious family and cherish every moment I have with them…

    It took something powerfully transformative in my life to make me wake up. Wake up to some fundamental truths of life.

    This life is a gift if you want to accept it. No matter what the obstacle, you can make your life abundant with joy and you can live authentically.”

    Forgive me for quoting you at length, Tess. You have spelled out things in your post that I work to make manifest in my life every day. Sometimes it is not easy but it is always worth the effort.

  26. Tess, I was searching for something like this as I am lying here, feeling ill again and unable to go not work. I lost my father to cancer 3 years ago, but that seems nothing in comparison to you. I am amazed you got through. You sound amazing. Well done seems trite, but I truly mean it. My problem is that if I was on my own, I believe that at this point I would cut back, live very small, and focus. My problem is I have a husband and child to support. I am the breadwinner. I feel trapped and very sad. Sometimes I even feel that a full blow ‘proper’ illness would be preferable as it would somehow give me permission to ‘give up’ for a while. I know that this is wrong and am logically pleased I generally have my health but just don’t know what to do to stop this cycles of getting over it, going through it, going down….. do you have any words? I

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