If Not Now, When?
Do you ever give much thought to how you are living? Most people attempt to live daily with moral standards, a good code of ethics, and maybe within a budget. Maybe you exercise daily and eat sensibly, too. But beyond all this most of us are too busy to contemplate more. Opening Chapter Seven in Please Dance at My Funeral: A Celebration of Life, I chose a quote by Emile Zola: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I will answer you: ‘I am here to live out loud.’”
The title of Chapter Seven is What Am I Waiting For? What have you put off? Are you waiting for someone to give you permission to make changes in your life? We can become experts at convincing ourselves that we are happy the way things are, but we don’t have to live the rest of our lives convincing ourselves, and others, that change is impossible. We can choose to make a difference if we want our lives to look different.
“If we buy this illusion that we will live forever, we can waste all the time in the world before we are ready to live.” This quote comes from How, Then, Shall We Live? by Wayne Muller. My parents didn’t travel much until all the kids were older, and then not until after the passing of my last grandparent. Not very many years remained for my parents to finally enjoy this time together as mother’s cancer was soon diagnosed and took her life but a few months later.
Am I investing my time in the people and things that matter most to me?
Many people exist day in and day out for their work—often maintaining a level of exhaustion. It also makes us exhausted when we are not being true to ourselves. Smoking, excess food, alcohol are often turned to as an escape from stress—an escape from looking at what we don’t want to question or face about our life.
If I treat myself with the respect that I deserve, and make choices that demonstrate that respect, Ill have more energy for the life I want to live.
Must we experience a diagnosis or illness to begin to listen to our heart or follow our dreams?
Who am I waiting to give me permission to live my life? What would I rather my life look like? Am I living a meaningful life?
Mueller goes on to remind us: “Shall we live not by accident, but on purpose…to consider our life as something worth living; an active, creative, passionate event? While death can be frightening, it can also grant us great courage to face what must be faced this moment. For if not now, when?”
For more information about living life more fully, visit Judith's blog at www.judithhaynes.com
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