I’ve been reminded in many ways these last couple of weeks of the importance of living. Not just surviving or going through the motions but really living and making the most of each and every moment, as best you can because you never know when your life on earth will come to end. Your final day may be tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or beyond and perhaps if we knew for sure what our specific date was, we may choose to live differently in the here and now.
This lesson has been offered to me many times and in various ways before as it has for you too, I imagine. A colleague, close friend or family member dies, perhaps suddenly, and you start to think about all of the conversations never had, times together never valued, activities and events unshared and questions never asked.
As you know if you read these articles regularly, Nick has tried to exit his life early several times already, not entirely by his own doing and not planned that way, at least I don’t think so! Like others who have survived extreme adventures, near misses and heart-stopping episodes, (literally in his case), it resulted in him seeing and living life differently. It also changed the way we interact with each other and may have sparked one of his favourite sayings “tomorrow is promised to no-one and no-one gets out of here alive”, both of which are true clearly.
I suppose like many things, we don’t necessarily value something, someone or an experience until and unless they go and then, with the benefit of hindsight, we are able to recognise their true meaning and how they contributed to our life. But why does it take loss or near loss to have us find true appreciation? Maybe it’s because it can be all too easy to take everyone and everything for granted particularly in our fast-paced modern world where pretty much everything is replaceable and we just upgrade to the latest version or better model. But that’s not true when it comes to people.
Everyone is in our life for a reason, however brief and fleeting even though we may not recognise it at the time. Often they are there to teach us a something or several things that we need to learn and that’s not always comfortable but discomfort offers learning and opportunity. Or they may provide a reflection for us, maybe of something in us that we need to heal, resolve or reconcile or perhaps they are a beautiful example and inspiration of how we can step up and into our true self. Whatever the reason for them being there, it’s important that we take the gift we are offered, even if feels more of a poisoned chalice at the time.
Essentially, the point I’m making is that, however long or short our life may be, we should always make time to have the conversation, particularly the deeper philosophical ones, share time, have an adventure, ask the question and listen without judgment, find out about the person, with genuine interest and an open heart and heal emotional hurt. There is little worse than leaving something unresolved or parting with an angry word and then not having the opportunity to change it, so why not change that now?
If you love someone tell them. If there’s something they need to know, let them know, kindly and respectfully. Make sure that you are doing all you can to really live your life, learn what you need to learn and let go of what no longer serves or supports you, let those in your life know how important they are to you and encourage others to do the same. In that way, when the time comes for you to go, there will be no regrets, no words unspoken and nothing unresolved for you and those that love you, paving the way for you to leave at peace.