Many of us go through our days on autopilot surfacing into a state of consciousness only when something out of the ordinary happens. Sometimes it’s a moment of joy or something amusing that rouses us. Other times it is a crisis or a challenge. But, for the most part we putter through our lives sticking pretty much to the script we designed in our twenties or worse yet someone else designed for us. And then suddenly it’s twenty, thirty, forty years later or we’re dealing with a serious health crisis and we desperately long to explore that which we have always been curious about – to do that which we always dreamed of doing but hadn’t~ yet. Maybe we’re lucky and we will be given the time and energy to pursue these things. Either way when this happens we come to place where we must choose to either bury our heads in the sand and forge on or admit that we were mistaken to believe unequivocally that we would grow old and remain healthy. It is at this time that three truths make themselves visible. No one wants to learn these truths the hard way but most of us do. We’re not taught of their existence, and so consequently learning them the hard way is the norm. Maybe we can change this. Maybe we can teach our children differently. Maybe we can teach ourselves in the process.
- When we die the people we work with, the people we work for, and the people who work for us will be minimally impacted by our absence. Someone else will be hired. They will do our jobs differently than we did, but for the most part, work will remain unchanged. The people who love us, those who share our journey, and those whose lives are deeply intertwined with our own will suffer greatly. It is they who will miss and mourn us for a long time and quite possibly through out their lives, especially at important events like graduations, weddings, and the birth of grandchildren.
- Staying well is a challenge. Whenever we feel well we focus less on our health. Re-building our health is even more of a challenge and sometimes it is not possible. My diet is pretty clean and I exercise fairly regularly. I had to learn how to do this. Several minor health crises over the years and caring for the terminally ill taught me how. I do slip up now and then but for the most part I make the effort. It’s not a guarantee but I know it makes a difference.
- If we truly understood numbers one and two to be true and that they apply to all of us, then many of us would live very different lives. We would spend more time with those we love, knowing that we or they will not always be here and we would be kinder to ourselves and our bodies. Some would still stick to the script that was laid out and has become their way of life. But, more of us would not. If we were encouraged to live within these truths and to raise our children to make decisions about their own lives taking these truths always into account it would create a very different world. Perhaps a healthier one with more joy and fewer regrets. No one lives forever, not me and not even you. Live for what is important to you and those you love.
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