I’ve never really learned my lesson when it comes to death. When I have lost a person or an animal that was deeply close to me, I always assumed things about our relationship, like they will be there tomorrow. It isn’t until after they have passed that it dawns on me that I could have shown so much more love than I did.
There is an inconvenience to death isn’t there? If someone is terminally ill there is the caring and the waiting and more emotions felt at once than is almost incomprehensible to those not going through it personally. If someone passes suddenly, there is a gaping hole in daily life that hurts beyond measure and may even feel impossible to get through. No matter how it happens, death is a disruption in our life that forces us to examine how we live our life from day to day. There is guilt. There is pain for sure. Then comes the process of wanting to hold on to the motivation that strikes us to live better and a more authentic way.
The first thing that strikes me upon learning of a close one’s death, or the death of one of my animals is the fact that I can no longer hold them in my arms. The mere fact that I cannot embrace them, hold them, comfort them, touch them, and feel them…or their fur…immediately makes me think of how often I did any of that – and then comes the painful realization that it wasn’t often.
I know that I move too quickly through life. I’ve known this for quite some time now and have been most reluctant to do anything about it. Despite my continual self-examination/development, I constantly circumvent slowing down consistently thinking that I’ll circle back to it later when life slows down. The problem with that is that your life is your co-creation with God. Your reality is nothing but a bunch of results from conscious and unconscious decisions. Big decisions, little decisions, and even decisions that you don’t think actually matter in the end. But they do.
For the past 5 years, my decisions have been about achievement. Some may think that it’s my stuffing my plate full to gain some sort of inner fulfilment. I say that I am already fulfilled on the inside and all that is on my plate are parts of my Divine Life Purpose. I’ve eradicated drama, binge watching guilty pleasures, being with people that don’t appreciate me, chasing validation, mindless shopping, and micromanaging anything. What I have in front of me is family, law/career, horses, homestead, and entrepreneurship. These are my vital-important-bare-bones life themes for my lifetime and they are important to me.
I am however on a constant pursuit of achievement, especially since I don’t really know how all of those pieces fit together yet. Sometimes the attempt at assembling my own personal puzzle keeps me distracted. The price that I have paid for any of it recently, are the simple pleasures of connection with another being. I now ask myself, what is the point of being an expert in time management if you don’t use the time that you’ve saved spent in pursuits of joy and connection?
Just what the classical fuck is the organizing of time all for?
Death is inconvenient. It’s messy, painful for all involved, and does not fit very neatly in to schedules or Excel spreadsheets. You’ll feel things, examine things, and the surprise realizations make you promise lofty ideals to yourself. “From now on I’m going to….” is the phrase often repeated while driving away from cemeteries. Yet we all know families that only see one another at funerals. I can’t say that I’m any better than that right now…but from now on I’m going to do things differently.
I’ve had two deaths in a row where I’ve longed to hold them once more and wonder why I didn’t when I had the ample opportunities. I don’t have the answer yet, but the pondering of this question is triggering some deep self-examination to get to the root of why not.
I think that I have had to face worse things about myself, but those things faced in the past largely had ill effect on myself only. Having those in my life that may long to connect with me and feel shut down by demeanor painfully affects them. This makes me a source of pain and I am not comfortable living my life this way.
I’ve spoken extensively in the past about boundaries and how it is healthy to move away from toxicity and those who do not support who you are, even if you are related to them. But how thick should the boundary line be? Also, has it ever been considered that some of those boundaries have less to do with gaining safe personal space, and more about protecting us from rejection?
There is this story about a man who is saving scorpions’ from certain death, and every time he gets stung. Someone finally asks him, “Why are you saving those wrenched things? All the do is sting you?” To which the man replies “stinging is all that they know how to do in order exist in this world. That shouldn’t stop me from caring.” There must be a happy medium somewhere when it comes to caring so much that it hurts you.
Those that fear rejection the most are those most prone to a thick boundary line. Some people who have attempted to pet the scorpions too many times, get sick of the pain and retreat. Inside of that retreat, it’s easy to create yourself the victim inside of your mind and allow this to stop you from making a true connection with others. Not everyone is the scorpion.
Death of a dear loved one brought these realizations to me, and many more that I still have yet to grow into or fully recognize, but all of it is a testament to what pain can hold for us when we don’t resist it. Opening ourselves to all of life’s experiences, no matter how heartbreaking, is actually how we learn. This is how life teaches us. It shows us the moments that we could have had in an attempt to get us to do better in the future, and it is in fact up to us to do so. Pain, sorrow, and death have been escaped by no one on this planet. We all have had the lessons within loss. What kind of world would we have if we all continued to learn from them and live by the earnings? How much joy would we have? How much more compassionate would we be? Would we realize finally that we are more alike than we are different as humans?
My question to myself most recently was good am I at showing others – no matter who they are – that I love them?
We are not put on this planet to do laundry. I just teach time management to show how to get all of that shit done so that you can really explore your purpose for being here and live life in a more full way. I guess the next part of my journey is to concentrate on the “full life” part.
Author’s Note: The above was written in October of 2018, and it feels globally appropriate to pull it out of the draft folder. Below is an addition that I wrote today. The above was also slightly editied for clarity today.
All of these realizations may have come to me as a result of a death, but then “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Henceforth, a birth of realizations. The realization that they are never really gone. I know that sounds almost trite, but they are not. Souls are immortal and we come here many times over and over again to live experiences to learn through. We have a lot of control over the kinds of experiences that we have, and we even get to chose who will be in our life before we are born. We come here with the understanding that living on earth is a temporary thing each time we do it, but we forget these understandings at birth. I’ve written about this extensively, but the most recent that best describes what I mean is my post entitled “Can You Change Your Reality?. In it I explain the soul contract.
This is to say that once we fulfill our soul contract, we go back to the Divine but now we are free from all physical restraints. We can move among dementions and visit our loved ones, send signs and help them along their path. There are even some that say that parts of our soul live on in other experiences and help guide us. It’s what is referred to as “the higher self” if you hear that from time to time. But when the soul moves on from this plane of existance, they are still with us. They can see us, they can hear us, and if you ask them for help they will help you. What the problem actually is then is us. Are we quiet enough to hear them? Are we in the position to level up our own vibration so that they don’t have to try so hard to reach us? Pennies on the ground are often signs. If you believe this, whomever you think of first when you see it there unexpectly is likely who sent it. If you are like me, I love this idea but when it comes to losing someone or a pet, all you want to do is hold them and tell them you love them. That’s the part that breaks your heart, but then allow it to stay open after that.
Death is inconvenient, it can knock you off course for a while. I have found that the less that there was unsaid with that person, or the less that was undone with that pet, the harder the grieving process is initially. It’s not impossible though, you just have to take the lesson for what it is, their final gift to you; to now live your life in a better way but telling and showing others that you care about them. In what better way can they be honored? You’ve become a better human…I think that would make them proud.
After reading this again and allowing an addendum to flow through, is to approach even more of life in even bigger of a way. I hope you join me.
If you have found this post, odds are you are being asked to reach higher.