I’m reflecting today on how much has happened this year. It’s something we all do. Whether we do it consciously or not, it’s a normal human function to contemplate how much things have changed or not.
Today yet another friend is being remembered fondly and his life celebrated at a memorial service to celebrate his life of 61 years. It seems crazy to think how many people around this age and younger seem to be leaving us – “too soon” we might say! I am reminded today that it could be me or one of my loved ones.
Yes, I am sad and I am hurting for his wife and family but all too soon, as is normal, most people (including me) will simply climb back on the treadmill of life and get caught up with ‘so much to do’ until another situation occurs and we are forced to reflect again on how we are living our lives.
It is so easy to look at another person’s life and make assumptions about how they should live or what they should do. So often I have declared that the way I live my life protects me from the regular ails that seem to befall others but I have come to realize that there is in fact, very little I have control over.
I may believe that I can control the outcome of things but in reality, when I truly reflect on my life so far, I see that this is an illusion that has been fed to society and is something that I bought into, along with most of humanity.
This statement may come as a shock to you. Being a life coach is often sold as someone who can help you change the outcome of things and that may be partially true but the full disclosure is this:
There are no absolutes!
Day is not better than night. Light is not better than dark. Summer is not better than winter and my God is not stronger than your God (or any other thing that you might think is right, correct, perfect or the truth).
In the words of Rumi:
“The truth was a mirror in the hands of God.
It fell and broke into pieces.
Everybody took a piece of it,
and they looked at it
and thought they had the truth.”
We can never say, absolutely that we have all the answers because the answer for one is often not the answer for another. We can also never say, absolutely that we know the truth because we may know a truth for ourselves but the truth is something that we all perceive differently and can never impose on another since we are all so uniquely different and one man’s truth may be another man’s pain.
One thing I know for sure (for me) is that whenever I get caught up in this ‘untruth’ I feel less calm and more stressed; I feel less free and more stuck and I most definitely (for me) feel less loving and more demanding and that, my friend is called “suffering.”
We have all met people that seem to have so many problems outwardly but are inwardly peaceful and appear happier than most and comparatively we have all been at the receiving end of people who appear to have so much outwardly but complain and blame everyone for what they feel is lacking and so fail to look inward for their happiness.
I once was like that and sometimes slip up and do it again – I’m human – but I’d like to think that I slip up less often and forgive myself quicker when I do.
Death can frighten you or humble you. These days, with the amount of loss experienced, I feel I am being kept on my knees in gratitude for every little nuance of my life or should I say I have made the choice to be grateful.
Like you, I just don’t know what tomorrow will bring so I want to choose to make the most of today, no matter how little or how much I feel I have, the reality is, it is all in the way I look at things.
If you have experienced loss this year, I feel with you. This resonated with me deeply today:
I have learned that when sadness comes to visit me,
all I can do is say “I see you.”
I spend some time with it, get up, and say goodbye.
I don’t push it away. I own it
And because I own it, I let it go.