I lost someone close.
Let's just say it really hurt.
It still does...
It's quite hard to describe the pain in words; actually, it's hard to convey the depth of most intense feelings in just words.
It also made me think a lot about life.
There's the philosophical rabbit hole one goes down with the questions, "what is the meaning of life?" and "why are we here?".
Those are great, but that's not really how my mind was working.
My thoughts were more along the lines of:
"Considering it is evident that we are all running out of time, how does one attempt to extract maximum value from a finite life?"
I'm coming away with interesting personal lessons and thoughts I'd like to share.
Lesson 1: LIVE well knowing Time is short:
While scientists are trying to understand what consciousness is all about, we already know we are conscious. We also know that includes many experiences that are both internal and external as we work through emotions and sensations. In some way, it's like we get to wear virtual reality glasses, get into this "world" or plane of existence and "do" life. BUT make no mistakes; you have a fixed number of tokens and when you run out of tokens, the game comes to an end. And then, you must drop your avatar, leave other players and go someplace else...
If you really think and meditate on this reality, you'll embrace the right kind of urgency around things that matter. And what matters the most is LOVE. So, love hard. Love family, love your kids, love those around you, love nature. Hug from your soul, smile with your heart, give your resources as best as you can, enjoy the moments, dance in the rain... One day, you're here, next day, you're gone.
Lesson 2. Don't hide your light under a bushel:
This has been a major lesson for me. Some have a few talents and others have many. However, one of the challenges that plague many talented or intelligent people is self-doubt about gifts or a need to stifle their abilities in order to be "humble", in order to not come on too strong, In order to avoid the risk of overshadowing others in the expression of their giftings. The lovely soul who passed on always told me how much I had on the inside, how my gifts were meant for others, how I should not overthink my abilities but keep doing what I do. I was also told not to get discouraged by "vanity metrics"; sometimes your gift is meant for a few and not every musician will sing to a crowded stadium - but gifts are meant to be given. Your gifts belong to the world. Your songs, your art, your skills. Don't live for Facebook likes. The more you realise that we are ALL connected, the more you'll realise that your gift is needed by others just as you need the gift of others. So, give of yourself - and also receive.
3. Live without fear:
This is easier said than done, but in the end, fear is really a choice. Look, you're going to die anyway, whether you send that email or not. Same with whether your presentation goes great or not, whether the girl says she likes you back or not. With that in mind, if there is something you want to do, but are held back from by your fears, your insecurities, cocooned in your comfort zone, realise that staying afraid is your choice. The more you give in to fear, the better you get at being afraid. The less you give in to fear, the more your courage and confidence will grow. Why fear? No one gets our alive anyway, so you might as well go for that objective you want to achieve, despite your fear. Just do it!
4. Do things that make you feel fulfilled:
Want to travel? Find a way and do it. Want to change careers? Find a way and do it. Want to learn an instrument? Find a way and do it. Want to help motherless babies? Same applies. There are two sides to happiness; things that give you pleasure and things that give others pleasure, while giving you satisfaction in the process. Do the things that make you happy. Do the things that make you feel fulfilled. Add to the world as you take from and enjoy it, knowing that you're closer to the grave today than yesterday.
5. In the grand scheme of things, there's a happy ending:
The tone of this note may seem dark and gloomy, but it's not all doom and gloom. In the grand scheme of things, all is well that ends well. My journeys have taken me from lack of conviction about the reality of a God to believing that we come from The Source to whom we will all return. I think it is logical to believe that anything that exists, like our Universe, is created by an entity that is external to what is created. That said, I do not believe that The Creator fits into any of the boxes that we currently refer to as "God". I also believe that the Source is pure unimaginable love, outside of the range of our ken - making arguments pointless since no one really knows what that entity is really like.
However, if Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and many texts considered to be holy writ are anything to go by, that all-powerful entity looks to fill all with love and goodness. And if that entity is all-powerful, then it is inevitable that ALL that exists will be filled with love and goodness.
And if that's how everything ends, well, who doesn't like a happy ending?