I work in a police department and in my work as a therapist, I sometimes respond to critical incidents in the community, events where someone has died. While some of the deaths are suicides, many are terrible accidents where the person dies unexpectedly and is often in good health. Death is a familiar companion for me in one capacity or another, but in 2013 death has been showing up a lot more in my life. Although death is often tragic and quite sad, I welcome it in my life as a great motivator.
You see, many of us like to think that we have forever to reach this dream or goal and that “someday” we’ll finally do this or that. The truth is, we don’t have forever and we never know which day will be our last. I may not wake up tomorrow or I may wake up and get hit by a car on my way somewhere and die. Hopefully I won’t, but I just don’t know. So I live each day remembering that it could be my last, and with this in mind I go through my day deliberately, with intentionality and gratitude.
Each day I tell my husband I love him and I always kiss him hello and goodbye, and every chance I get in between! I thank him for the things he does for me each day and I try to do helpful things for him as well. I don’t wait until tomorrow or a special day. Today is THE day, it is the ONLY day. If death comes knocking on your door today or tomorrow, how would you feel about your life thus far? Are there things you keep putting off, waiting for the “right time”? Are there people you want to see or things you want to say, places you want to visit, habits you want to adopt, yet you haven’t? How would you live differently today if you knew you were going to die tomorrow? Or would you?
I invite you to think about death as you live through your days and see if it can be a motivator to move you towards your desires, dreams and positive choices. There are lots books written with this intention, the intention to get people to wake up to their lives while they are still living it, while they still have many choices in front of them. If you are interested in living your life more fully this way, I recommend reading Stephen Levine‘s book “A Year to Live: How to Live This Year as If It Were Your Last” and Wayne Muller’s book “How Then, Shall We Live? Four Simple Questions That Reveal the Beauty and Meaning of Our Lives.” Both authors have worked extensively with death and the dying and share their insights and experiences of how death can help us wake up more fully to life.
I’d love to hear how death serves to motivate you and your choices in life or how you think it could become a motivator for you. Thanks for reading! Please consider following and sharing my blog!
Until next time, aloha!