The Illumination of Death

I want you to imagine the significant people in your life. It could be your parents, grandparents, friendships, romantic relationships, coworkers, etc. They have all gathered up in a familiar cemetery. There is a sense of sadness and grief in the air. The wind is frigid, felt deep within the bones and howling against the trees, and everybody dressed for the day of reckoning: all black. It’s a grim and murky day. The rain is soothing yet trembling.

You want to engage with your significant people, but you can not. You scream, you push, you trample your way through, hoping to be heard, hoping to be seen but to no avail. You are nonexistent to them. They are walking towards a gravesite, and the unthinkable begins to reveal itself. Your intuition knows, but you do not want to face this nightmare, is that me. Am I dead? Upon further inspection, you notice what you knew to be true in your heart and soul. Your time on this earth has ended. You are no longer able to bring your gift into the world or acknowledge and engage with the people that mean the most to you.

You no longer get to enjoy the small things in life, such as; sunshine on a beautiful summer day. The smell of fresh-cut grass. The genuine connections of interacting with your fellow human being. Something else captures your attention. The special people in your life are about to talk about your life and how you have impacted them.

Now the real part. Now the part where feelings of shame, embarrassment, and guilt might unveil themselves. At this point in life, what do you think they would say about you. Would they have words of encouragement, inspiration, gratitude, kindness , compassion, and love? Or would they say something that you might not want to hear? Perhaps feelings of pain, suffering, despair, nonacceptance and hopelessness. Only you know the answer that this will bring. Truly envision what they would say and the emotions that are coming to the surface, feel them as your own.

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Acceptance must come first. Admitting one’s faults, insecurities, and misguided deeds/actions must be made known. You cannot begin to change your path and trajectory in life until you truly accept where you are. Truly accept the consequences of the actions that you have been doing. Once this has begun, you can take the responsibility to adapt and transform into the person you desire.

Let’s re-frame this situation. Now at the funeral. I want you to imagine how you would wish for your significant relationships to talk about you. How will you be remembered? What values do you want to instill and display in the face of adversity? What accomplishments or goals did you actively seek out and gave it everything you had? How did you leave your mark on the world? What legacy did you leave behind? Take some time and honestly think about these statements.

IF you have the courage, please leave a comment about your top three values.

Now start putting in the actions that bring you closer to who you want to become. The beautiful thing is, each day, you have this opportunity. Each day you have a gift to bring out your light into this world. When tempted with anger, dissatisfaction, or suffering, you have a moment to change it to love, understanding, and compassion.

Let me give you an example, say you are prone to anger and yelling when frustrated. Next time your beloved family is doing something that drives you wild, such as asking are we there yet. Ask yourself, by the actions in which I’m about to take, am I becoming the person who I want to be?

With this brief pause in time, this heightened state of consciousness, it gives you the power to choose who you are becoming. This seemingly small insignificant moment might not mean anything to you. It will fade in the abyss of time. However, this moment could linger indefinitely with the other person. People are going to forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.

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