Let Me Tell You a Story
I recently had a talk with one of my friends about his grandmother. He informed me that he was being guilt tripped by his parents into seeing one of his grandmothers – the sick grandmother. She has been a widow since Christmas Day 2012, and lives alone in a home for the aged, a home that she once shared with her husband. In addition to this, she also seems to have dementia. She speaks of family members of her past that she can hardly remember and is barely active during the day. He felt guilt tripped because it wasn’t in his heart to go – he hated being in such a depressing atmosphere, and never enjoyed being around her because of her condition. He rather turn a blind eye and stay away instead of being present in the moment and accepting of the fact that his grandmother will never be as she used to be, ever again. She was surviving; not living – and he couldn’t take that.
When I heard this I became defensive of his grandmother, almost instinctively. I told him to stop being so selfish, suck it up & go see his grandmother because not only has she lost her husband and is grieving, she’s living alone in the midst of her grief. ‘It isn’t always about you’, I said. Then, for a dash of impactful retrospection I asked, ‘What if that were you or your wife? Would you rather your children put you into a home because they made a conscious choice – a well thought out decision – not to take care of you themselves? How would living there make you feel’? I proclaimed that she still needed to know that he cared.
But what he divulged to me, after my sudden outburst, was shocking. He said that if it were him, he would rather someone put a pillow over his face till he stopped breathing because TIS NOT LIFE! I thought to myself, ‘You’d rather die’? He would rather die than live a life he could not really participate in & enjoy. I understood his opinion but the nanoseconds after his exclamation, so many questions were crossing my mind. Is it fair to give up on life, yourself & those closest to you, in the face of adversity like that? What if there is more that you can teach & show others despite your condition? Can’t one have a disease, an ailment, a disability & still find the power & strength to be positive & hold your head up high through it all? Why give up? But the main question that I kept coming back to was, are we using our able bodies to live our best lives everyday just in-case our futures were to take a negative turn?
No one knows what the future holds. We all dream of bold, bright, luminous futures where we can change the world – or just our immediate environment, using our God-given talents & skills. Those futuristic dreams are totally worth it! But what if, as with all things in life, change happens? We can develop some kind of ailment. We can be irrevocably hurt by an accident of some sort. Our parents can become dependent on us as they get older. We can suffer from strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, cancer…and so many other things. I know it sounds depressing, and no one likes talking about the possibility of a bleak future, but let’s talk about it. It’s reality! We have absolutely no idea how our futures will turn out so why do we put so much emphasis on it?
Jonathan Safran Foer of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close questions, “Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future.”
George Harrison also declares “It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one”.
Are you embracing & appreciating the full life that you have been given?
There is Always Room for Change
If you answer this question truthfully, you will undoubtedly identify the areas where you know you can do better.
Do you find it hard to make time for the needs of your family because you’re too busy working or doing things outside of the home? – then you aren’t embracing and appreciating the full life that you have been given. Cherish and protect these individuals with your life!
Do you find yourself saying no to the good things and people in life out of fear or anxiety? – then you are not embracing & appreciating the full like that you have been given. Open your arms and say yes more!
Do you desire to travel beyond the boundaries of your country but have chosen against it because you have no money…you have no one to go with you…you’re afraid that you’ll be kidnapped and sent into sex slavery? (The movie ‘Taken’ has seriously brainwashed some members of my family) – then you are not embracing & appreciating the full life that you have been given. Don’t let blocked doors stop you. Get out there and see the world!
Do you have a dream? A dream that you wish to fulfil but you aren’t working towards it as hard as you know you should? – then you aren’t embracing and appreciating the full life you have been given. Whether it’s as simple as passing University exams and graduating with a degree, or as complex as launching a designer fashion label, you are worth your dream.
An Excellent Example of Being Human
The genius motivator & life coach, Tony Robbins, once declared “Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. Go out and screw up! You’re going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem and eliminate it. Don’t try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human.”
So be grateful for the life that you live now. Embrace & appreciate every single aspect of it. Don’t waste time. Focus on today and take massive, determined actions towards creating the life that you aspire to live. A life filled with people who you love, & who love you in return, a life filled with goal reaching and target busting, a life filled with fun and enjoyment, a life filled with stories and tales you wish to tell your future offspring or grandchildren. Live a life that you can be proud of because the future is not ours to control. After all, we usually regret the things that we don’t do instead of the things that we actually do in life.