You might remember me mentioning that my ceiling collapsed last year due to a roof leak that went unnoticed while I was on a West Coast tour. After getting a new roof this summer, I am finally repairing the interior damage.
The entry and kitchen are getting some new drywall, fresh paint, a window, and I figured while everything is ripped to shreds, I might as well replace my ailing tile countertops.
I've always wanted painted cabinets, but never did it because everyone always says, "You can't paint nice wood!" It's a Pandora's box in a 1923 house. There is no end to the needed renovations.
Last week as I was agonizing (again) over whether or not to paint the cabinets my friend called, upset. She had just heard the terrible news that a young friend of hers received a terminal cancer diagnosis.
I couldn't stop thinking about the situation as I scraped and sanded the ceilings that afternoon. I had just had a session with a client who also recently received a terminal diagnosis. He was desperate to know if there is an afterlife that we can communicate with as he worries about his impending departure from the Earthly plane.
I take this all to heart; it's like the Universe is sending the message again to live fully each day. I know we all have our ideas of what that means to us, but somehow hearing that another young parent is going to die soon tripped a trigger in me. It's ridiculous to NOT paint my cabinets if that is what I like. It suddenly felt ridiculous to delay anything that I wanted or needed to do.
It reminded me of this article I wrote in July of 2014 that garnered a huge response from my readers. I copied it below. The original blog post is here.
I admit: my job has taken a toll on my level of tolerance for going to bed angry; screaming about the messes that have been made; delaying apologies, even if I wasn't wrong. These days I'm owning my stuff, all of it, every situation I created. I can't let you leave without saying, "I love you." anymore. Yes, I want one more hug, maybe two. Yes, I cry when you turn the corner and are out of sight. I can no longer tolerate stuffing my feelings. No, I can't sit back and be an observer anymore. All of these are occupational hazards. Every single day, I consult with person after person who is trying to cope with the worst day of his or her life. I always think I've heard it all when it comes to tragic ways to die, and as it turns out, I haven't. The stories just keep coming.
These are the side effects of realizing truly, deeply and even sadly, that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Tragedy isn't confined to a social class, a country, good people or bad people. There is no way to delineate who is next. Cancer doesn't love a certain skin color. Accidents don't care if you just had a world class fight with your spouse. Heart attacks really don't mind that you were going to retire next month. Aneurysms happen to healthy 8-year-olds. And 16-year-olds. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
The real tragedy in all of this is not so much that the people I work with don't see this, because they are LIVING it, but the average guy on the street thinks, "Oh, that poor family." He doesn't really get that he might be the next man on his knees banging his head on the floor trying to feel reality because his mind just can't process what he just heard over the phone. Yes, that's actually what happens when you get the call that your child was found dead. You pound your head on hard surfaces to see if a reality still exists.
I know this may not be an uplifting read for you, but it is something that gnaws away at me daily. I am impassioned about living today fully, and this is why. On a recent road trip with a girlfriend, I finally let all of this out to her and confessed I wish I could write about it. "Do it! You need to," she said.
Ladies and Gentleman, life owes you nothing. Somehow your Soul managed to get inside of a body to have this experience on Earth and however many days, years or decades you get to wear it is a gift. Does this not stir within you a deep, abiding desire to live fully today? It really should. No matter what you've lost up to this point, you are still here, simply by virtue that you are reading this, and still capable of creating love today.
Do you owe it to your loved one who died to live fully today? That sounds noble doesn't it? Honestly, you owe it to yourself. You are still breathing and you still have a chance to do something today.
What you choose to create is completely up to you. Of course there will always be excuses and circumstances which prevent you from doing what you really want. You may always cling to the excuse that what you really want is to return to the past. I like excuses, too. I'd avoid every problem possible if they didn't constantly smack me in the face. Excuses are the walls that separate you from healing and getting on with the business of living.
Let's simplify this just a little: no excuses. No buts. Shed the anger. Lose the regret. Instead, ask yourself one simple, but life-changing question: Where can you create love today?
©Mollie Morning Star 2014-15 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.