Because there might not be a tomorrow.
We all know this, of course, somewhere deep in our subconscious minds. We know in an intellectual sense that one day, we will die, and be no more (that last part is obviously due to my own belief system – being non-religious, I believe this life is all I have, and all I ever will have, which makes it infinitely precious to me).
But do you live with a conscious awareness of this in your every-day life?
It was brought home to me earlier today when I heard of the death of a friend. Julie-Ann Twigg – leader of the Down Under Street Team on Etsy – a big, vibrant group of women who express their creative souls in crafting – died suddenly today. She was the only survivor of the light plane crash in Victoria, and by all accounts, she was getting better.
But her body was too broken to go on – and perhaps finding out about the death of her beloved daughter meant her mind was in no state to face her own healing. Whatever happened, she is gone, never to start another chat thread, help a new team member, exult in the victory of her favourite footy team, or make a funny comment.
I know it may sound strange to talk about her in that way, but words on a screen were the only medium through which I knew J-A. The internet is a funny place – it allows us to communicate with so many people that we would have never known in our everyday lives – but we feel that we know them so well, nonetheless.
The death of someone you know is one of those moments where your own mortality is thrown up into sharp relief.
It might be a moment where you ‘wake up’ – like Neo in the Matrix – and realise that you don’t actually know how the hell you got here, or where you really are.
What happened to the life I’d planned for myself when I was a child? The dreams I had?
Are you living the life of your dreams? Are you achieving what you would like to?
Most importantly – do you wake up every day with joy at the thought of how you’re going to spend the hours in front of you?
I hope so.
Because if you don’t now, then when?
When you live your life in alignment with your passions and your dreams, every day is a joy.
When I look at my life – which is now, more than ever, in alignment with my passions, and therefore, a joy to live – I am happier than I have ever been.
Sure, there are still things I’d like to change, improvements I’d like to make. There are aspects of my life (living in just two rooms, having to walk through the rain to get to a bathroom) that other people might cringe at. And you know what? That doesn’t matter, because my life is mine, not anyone else’s.
But I’m closer than ever before, and making an effort each day to move in the right direction.
When I was younger, working in jobs I liked but didn’t love; in a relationship that was good but that had fatal flaws; with a mental state that was far from equanimous, every day saw unhappiness and dissatisfaction with my life.
Oh, if only I could go back and tell myself – ‘it will be okay, you can’t even imagine the joy that’s in your future – just trust in yourself’.
So, I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you, instead.
Listen to yourself.
Trust in yourself.
Follow your dreams.
Do it today.
Because there might not be another chance tomorrow.
What’s ONE dream you could start bringing into reality, right now? Share it in the comments…
Rest in peace, dear Julie-Ann – my heart goes out to your husband, children, and the rest of your family and friends. I can only hope with all of my heart that they will find the strength to go on without you.
Image found via Pinterest. I was unable to find the original source, so please let me know if you happen to know who the artist is. Thank you .