If you knew you were dying, how would you contemplate your life now?
What would you think about?
What would you regret?
What would you celebrate?
If you can sit back, reflect, and declare that you’ve done things your way, that you lived on your terms under the conditions in which you found yourself, then you’ll probably be satisfied.
On the other hand, if this mental exercise elicits a series of regrets, you might consider doing something about it.
As it’s been noted, every day you are alive, you are one day closer to dying.
One Last Embrace
Last Friday I saw an old client of mine. I’ve known her all my life. She is in her 70s and has lived with cancer for about three or four years now. At some point the cancer went into remission but has since reappeared. She initially went for more treatment, but decided to forgo any more chemo.
She has a short time to live.
As I walked by her house, her son arrived to bring her to the hospital. She was going to get fluid from her abdomen drained (a rather uncomfortable side effect of cancer). He asked me to wait while he went inside to fetch his mom, certain she would like to see me.
Upon noticing me, she smiled, walked towards me and gave me the strongest hug she could muster from her cancer ravaged body.
During the embrace she lovingly tapped my back four times.
It occurred to me that this moment would likely be the last time I would see her alive, and this living body of hers, once active, boisterous, and full of life, would soon be no more.
I don’t know if my client, my friend, had lived life on her own terms. She was bluntly honest in some of our conversations about life topics, topics that other people tend to not discuss.
But one thing is certain, in deciding to forgo further treatment, she is dying on her terms: at home, her adult children, grandchildren and many friends coming to visit her.
The Fierce Urgency of Now
We rarely control all the conditions in which we find ourselves. But what we do control is how we react to those conditions.
My friend has been presented with death, and she made a conscious decision to do it her way.
But what about living?
What conscious decisions are you making about life?
After all, you are presented with certain death as well. You think it will be a far in the future, but you don’t know that for sure. Your time could be short.
So what are you waiting for?
In this life, there is no future. There is no past. Both of those are projections of our mind.
All we have is the fierce urgency of now.
Again, what are you waiting for?
Why are you:
– Doing a job you hate.
– Stuck in an unfulfilling relationship.
– Going to social engagements that you have no interest in.
– Holding on to anger and resentment.
– Obsessed with frivolous things.
– Not telling someone important how much they mean to you.
– Letting your ego get in the way of reconciliation.
– Not trying something you always wanted to do.
– Living an unhealthy lifestyle
– Not happy
There are countless items that could be included on this list. Some have immediate solutions–you can just start or stop doing something.
Others, particularly when they involve family and dependents, don’t have immediate solutions.
But the point remains the same:
You think you have time.
But you don’t.
P.S. If you found this post interesting or helpful, please “like”, “share”, or send to someone who needs another perspective on life. You never know what can change someone’s life for the better.