In the past couple of months, five people I know have died. Three of natural causes, two suicides. Some of them very close – my spiritual mentor for one, the others I liked, worked with, and shared company. Around me, friends and clients have lost loved ones as well, more than I have ever really noticed before.
Death is so often one of the big tragedies we face in life – and still there are so many others big difficulties: Financial struggles, relationships falling apart, serious injury, crime, bad days. We are emotional roller coasters, changing moods in an instant, over little things, big things, nothing at all. Going from depressed and downtrodden to happy and inspired happens in an instant – and goes in both directions.
It turns out, life is hard. Really hard sometimes. And as we get older, the hard parts tend to pile up – the days of innocence become nostalgic memories, replaced by responsibility, loss, worries. It can be easy to fall beneath that wave, churning and flailing in a big mean ocean. More difficult is realizing the choice we have.
Every single moment, we are making a choice, consciously or unconsciously. To live fully or not. To embrace the sheer sensual ecstasy of our existence or not. Sure, there are always degrees to that choice. Living fully might be angry, mourning, or melancholy sometimes. Once you’ve done that though, get back to the joyful part, the inspiration, the hope, the love. Celebrate what you have, who you are, your hopes and the unexpected mystery of whatever comes next.
Keep your head above the water! Remember, you do have a choice.