Thinking About Death

One of the first words typed on this blog had a reference to my death

I’m dying … and it’s been on my mind A LOT these past few months

Now of course as I clarified at the time, and a fact that is still the thankfully the case,  I don’t mean I’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness and have been given only a few months to live.  And yet despite this, death has been on my mind quite a bit over the past few months and the more I consider my future the more my demise seems to weigh heavy on my mind.

I sometimes find myself sitting having a coffee, or walking through a busy street and am amazed by how we seem, on the outside at least, to have no fear of death. We spend our time following the crowd. Doing seemingly inane tasks. Almost at times drifting around on autopilot. Death is the last thing on our minds. Now, I also don’t believe we should live our lives constantly in fear of death as this can be counter productive for living a meaningful life.

That said, how often have you spoken openly with friends and family about death? It’s such a taboo subject, however I think if we considered that irrespective of our position in society, our financial status, or even our health (or lack of) we will all die. There is no-one on this planet who can stop this from happening to you. Yes there are ways to prolong life through a healthy lifestyle and various medicines, however even these only prolong, they do not prevent the inevitable.

Take a moment right now to consider your own death.

Imagine going to bed this evening, closing your eyes and never waking up.  The thought that one day you won’t have the opportunity to appreciate simple tasks such as enjoying a freshly brewed cup of coffee while watching sunrise, or more challenging ones such as climbing a mountain or travelling to far and distant lands. For me that thought is enough to make me more determined to make my time count.

And why has death been on my mind a lot these past few months? Well for me to really appreciate the opportunity of life I think you have to honestly and opening accept that one day your life will be over, forever. It is only when you fully appreciate and truly accept that you won’t be around forever, that you can approach each day with a drive and determination to make your day count, all 86,400 seconds.

I’m still learning and challenging myself to live my true life. Some days are harder than others, and sometimes as I lay my head on my pillow I realise I’ve failed to spend my time wisely during the past day.

Today, not tomorrow, is the perfect time to start making your life count. And by making it count it does not have to be focused on epic adventures. Don’t believe the hype that you need to drop everything and go live on a deserted island in the middle of the pacific with only a coconut for a companion to live adventurously.  Be honest with yourself and what is important in your life. Start today to try and make that happen. Even if you only succeed initially in doing one thing per day which took effort but enriched your life then it’s a step in the right direction.  Be mindful in your life. Accept that life is fragile and each day you have a personal responsibility to make your life count.

Mindfulness – a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. 

 

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