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Thursday, May 2, 2013

A day to live.....

A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on taking stock on how to value the things that are important in your life.  The question that it posed was "If you knew you had one day left to live, would you do what you were going to do today? Adding further, how would you spend the day?" For many this is a morbid question - why bring up death? why talk about something that we don't know when its going to happen? why bring up something that is so ominous.  For me, it was the opposite - it got me to think about how I would spend that day - what would be the things that I would be focusing my time on , who would be the people that I would want to be around? What are some of the things that I would remember to say, do or act on before it is too late and more than anything, it forced me to look and see if there were any regrets. 

I did a free writing piece on it because i need to have an internal check within me to see if i was on the right track- to see if i am moving in the direction of where i want to be emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc.  It also helped me to look at some honest truths that we often take for granted and we as a society don't like to talk about.  I had to take an honest look at the mortality of my life - and however painful it can be to be open about it, it is an important step that we need to as a society to look at.  Some of us are confronted with death at a very young age, whereas some of us are not - and when it happens, it puts you in a state of shock.  It forces you to question your beliefs, to face fear in its face and more than anything it is a test to how much you can endure.  On another level, regardless of your belief system, it puts you in a situation where you begin to turn to a force that is higher than you for strength.

 If we were to have honest discussions about death, about dying with one another, how much more would be able to cope with the inevitable.  It is always painful - because of the attachment - someone we love has been taken away from us, and we feel that we are alone - we miss that person, we want to be near that person, we have regrets about things we should have said to that person, we had dreams we wanted to share with that person; so much of that is taken away from us instantly and we are forced to move on - without any preparation, without any notice, just like that- in a flash of a second.  What if we began living each day as if it were our last? what would that look like for us? would we put of what we had in store for tomorrow or two weeks from now? would we be more willing to take certain risks because we knew what was in store? Would we love each other more as a society rather than fight with one another? Our perception, our attitude, our choices would change if we knew that "the hour" was awaiting us.  So why put it off? why not act now. 

It doesn't mean that we have to be impulsive - but we should not live in fear.  And we should not put off what we have for today, for tomorrow.  The words we need to use should be said, the actions we need to take should be done. 

Death has come to me in different forms throughout my life with me losing some of the most important people in my life.  Shattered beyond belief, it forced me to change my perspective towards life.  It taught me to be more prepared about when it does hit you in the face. It also taught me to love more - without expecting anything in return.  Sometimes when you lose someone, you become hard like a shell - sometimes that is needed becuase the pain is so unbearable - but soon the shell has to break - it has to break so you can begin loving again - and that is what death has taught me.   It has taught me about control - how many of us have control issues - wanting to be in control of things - with death - u don't know - u just don't know - but u learn to let go - u learn to let go of the small things that bug you.  It is also about being in the present moment.  Being in the now - we don't have to keep looking to the future to see how things are going to pan out, or worry about this and that, otherwise our whole life will just slip in front of us.  On another note, it helps you be able to be there for those that are in pain.  We can never have the same pain as another, but because you are open about death, you can be compassionate, you can lend that listening ear, and you can allow them to be them.  There is no need for pretense, there is no need for "should haves" , etc, it is just a matter of being a support.

So I loved the idea of doing a writing piece on this topic.  I also think as a society we need to be more open about death and have open conversations about it rather than shun from it.   Especially with our families - one may say again -that is morbid, that is so depressing - no it's not - it is preparing us for the inevitable.  It is also helping us talk openly about our wishes, about our hopes with one another rather than not knowing at all.

There was a song I was taught when I was a child that I still remember to this day.  It began with
" if you have a kind word to say, say it now, if you have something to do, do it now, if you can make someone glad or another less sad, do it now, do it now, do it now.  Now before it is too late, now is the time for every good deed.  Do not wait until tomorrow for it maybe just a little to late."
Singing it as a kid, i paid more attention to the tune, the beat then the words, but see how deep these words are and so true.  Don't put off what you have for tomorrow if you can do it now.  

Happy Journaling!

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