Sometimes we have a revelation, an epiphany that we wished we had discovered years ago. And there is no other way to discover it except to come to the conclusion ourselves. No matter how many people tried to tell us or show us or make us understand, we didn't see it. Not until the experience presented itself so that we could understand up close and personal.
Almost a year ago, one of my dear friends lost her police-officer husband in the line of duty. It was a normal evening when he went off to serve as he always did, and he died doing what he committed his life to doing. In the blink of an eye, his life was ended, and her life was changed.
There are a thousand ways to grieve but no words to take the pain away from my friend. There's no "undo" button that we can click to change things. I've believed for a long time that as long as nobody died, we have the chance to fix our mistakes and make amends. But when someone dies, there's no more chances to fix things. The only thing we can do in this life is to be proactive and not miss opportunities in the first place.
My friend is an amazing woman. And the reason I say this is not because she's completely handled the whole thing with a dignity and strength that seems more like a super-hero than human, but because she and her husband lived a life of service, quietly, and they made every moment count together. That's where she draws her strength from. She didn't leave anything unsaid to her husband. They knew the commitment they made when he decided to be a police officer, and they moved forward in life together, savoring each moment.
They recognized that the small things they did each day could make a positive difference in the world, even if it was only to the homeless man who received a coat from the back of the patrol car or the starving feral cat no one else even noticed. They were wise enough to consciously choose their life together and live each moment. Each moment counts. All the little moments are the ones that create our life and define our own personal legend.
As we come up on the anniversary of his death, what's on her mind is to celebrate life and not death. The last few moments of a person's life is not what defines him or her. There's oh so much more!
We get a finite term on this planet, in these bodies. Celebrate life with those you love, NOW. Don't wait till they're gone to honor their birthday. Live now, live your passion every day, serve others in some way that resonates with you and brings you joy. Don't wait for joy - run out to meet it. Forgive, a lot. Love even more. Be honest with your thoughts, words, and deeds. Be respectful. Share. Give what you can and receive what others offer to you in return. We're in this life together here. Make every moment count. Choose consciously. Every moment is yours to create something new, something amazing, something more wonderful than you've ever dared before.
Tell the people you love that you love them. More importantly, show them. Make time for them. Take care of yourself and others. Don't worry so much - it blocks the joy. Let your heart grow with compassion, open your eyes to those in need, let by-gones be by-gones, and live, now. You create the future in this very minute. Don't be afraid - there are so many good things out there to experience! Find out for yourself and challenge your limits.
If we choose each moment and live each day in a conscious way, there are no regrets. If something traumatic happens, like the death of a loved one, we can draw strength from knowing that we savored the living moments. If we commit ourselves fully to our lives, doing things that are our passions, we have fully lived.
The moment is now.