The following is a piece by a young woman, Jacqueline Warner, just prior to passing away from Cancer. The Valley of the Shadow of Death can be the fertile ground for some profound insights. It can cut through the crap and cliche's getting to the real heart of life, and provides some deep perspective on a life well lived. It can help us put things in a more healthy perspective as the illusions of our performance-driven, consuming culture evaporates for the apparitions they are.
Perhaps for the first time for many we are able to experience gratitude in a very genuine, transcendent way. In doing so letting go shame, self-pity and anger and celebrating the gift of everyday life; family, friends, a great piece of music, a sunset, a lovely work of art or the playful laugh of a child.
Life is Not too Short
by Jacqueline Warner
People often say "life is too short" or "live today like it is your last day" and so on.
Those phrases are meant to be encouraging but since I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010 I have struggled with them.
Your life is exactly as long as it is supposed to be. Call me a Christian, and a believer in fate or destiny but I feel this is true.
Your life is as long as it is supposed to be.
The idea that "life is too short" tends to mock all your accomplishments. It tells you that all the concerts you saw, the trips you took, and experiences you had were not enough. This is simply not true.
My life will not last much longer.
Yes, there are things I have not had the pleasure of doing but there is so much that I have done! "Live each day like it is your last" is also so silly because on a daily basis you cannot be on the beach or at Disneyland. You have to be at work, you have to be helping people, cleaning the house, or just resting at home. Some days will be "boring." I rest a lot.
Stop making your life a race to accomplish everything and instead appreciate everything that you do accomplish.
Maybe that is all those phrases ever meant to say but I always found them to be mocking me. "Do more! See more! It's not enough! Why haven't you tried this yet? Hurry!"
Your life is exactly as long as it is ever supposed to be. Rest in that. What I have never done, cut by the sharp knife of a short life.
I did everything I could with my time and it is Good!
Walking with folks through the end of life, as they transition through and as they make this discovery, they experience the story of their life in a richer way. The bitter sadness fades, and they live their last days in peace with sincere gratitude - dying well.
Life is not too short, she writes. It is as long as it is supposed to be. From a posture of gratitude we can accept that we have done well with what we have been given. Focusing on the many ways we have lived; our relationships, experiences, achievements, and not what we haven't done or experienced. I don't think we need to wait for a crisis to awaken us and to embrace life in a deeper way. We can learn to live loved and live a life of love whether it is long or short. We don't don't have to be dying before we learn to truly live.
What do you think?
(feel free to leave a comment below)