A Golden Life

I stumbled across this article from Inspiration and Chai, which inspired this post. I do wish I had a vanilla chai right now…perfect for this rainy weather.

It’s something that we all have to face in our lives, and it’s inevitable. We’re given the wonderful gift of life, but everything has its cycle, and everything that lives must die. One day, I won’t be here anymore, and neither will you. Death is a subject that very few want to talk about, because it’s one of those things that remind us that we’re mortal, and our mortality is something that can be taken away in an instant…

What struck me about the article I mentioned was how little we focus on living until our last days, and the conflicting messages we received about living and dying. How many times have you heard “Live every day like its your last!” and hard as we may try, the doldrums of daily life sets in, and every day bleeds into another and starts to become the same. We’re told to follow our dreams, but as soon as those dreams seem to be unrealistic or far fetched, we’re told to come back down to “reality”. How many of us had dreams of owning our own businesses, or becoming the President, or doing something really big, but end up slaving for someone else’s hustle instead of our own? Hard work as being the key to success is ingrained in our minds, but what happens when we have all the trappings of success, but lack true joy?

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This is something that I and many others I know struggle with-many times, we’re afraid that by living our true lives, and being our authentic selves without apology, we will ostracize those closest to us. Even though I’m somewhat stubborn, I fell into the “you must have this career because it’s expected of you” trap, and it made me unhappy until I decided to take steps to change it. There are still plenty of things that I would like to experience, but I rarely (if ever) discuss them, for fear that I care about how the ones closest to me will view me. I want to be true to who I am, and live in my truth unabashedly, with abandon…and that can be difficult at times.

“I wish I didn’t work so hard.” This was surprising to me, because hard work is one of the few things prized (and sometimes rewarded) in society.  What saddened me was the fact that every male Bronnie talked to in her experiences expressed this sentiment. Hard work is seen as the key to happiness, but we must have missed the memo somewhere because as a nation, our lives have gotten more complicated and unhappier by the minute. I don’t have a problem with working hard to achieve success-as long as it’s what I really want to do and there’s fulfillment. Of course I want to be financially comfortable, but I want a career that will bring me joy and meaning in my life.  Ever known someone who loved their career? Whenever they discuss what they do, there is a glow and excitement that cannot be overlooked. My hairstylist is one of those people-she can talk about having healthy hair for DAYS and it’s evident that she loves her career. I yearn to have the same zest for my future career.

“I wish that I had let myself be happier.” Bronnie mentioned that fear of change led some of her patients pretending that their lives were content. I can completely understand. Sometimes, we fear change because change is unknown-and we cannot control or predict the things that are unknown to us. Change does not care to fit perfectly into our schedule, between today’s meeting and tomorrow night’s happy hour. We cannot put the unknown in a little box and shove it underneath our beds if we don’t want to deal with it.  Instead of challenging ourselves and our place in the world, complacency is the name of the game, because let’s face it-most of us would rather not rock the boat.

What scares me the most about death is not when I’m going to die, but that I cannot imagine being without life. What happens to my essence? My thoughts and dreams? The very fact that one day who I am will be no longer scares me more than you’ll know, because I find it hard to come to terms that I won’t exist anymore.

My greatest fear in living is that I will psyche myself into believing that my life is meant for everyone else, without pursuing those experiences that will enrich me. I can’t help that I will die one day, but I can strive to live out my dreams while I’m still here.

3 Responses to “A Golden Life”
  1. kdaddy23 says:

    I give you major props for this piece – ’cause it speaks the truth in many ways. All I wanted to say is you never will get the full gist of what you’re saying until you have a reason to REALLY think about it, like you really might die in the next few seconds because of a stroke, heart attack, car accident, etc. It really makes you put your life in perspective in a damned hurry and brings homes a few things: You know not the minute or the hour… and tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.

    Great post.

    • bellacoils says:

      Hey KDaddy! Thanks for stopping by again! always appreciated : )
      I’ve been in one or two experiences where I felt like my life almost flashed before me. However, it wasn’t until one day at the supermarket when I suddenly became out of breath and felt like the wind was knocked out beneath me. It was the scariest thing I’ve felt because I knew that if I stopped gasping for air and fell to the ground that I wouldn’t get up again. Trust and believe, I wasn’t thinking about work, school, or anything…I thought about how much living I wanted to do, and my brother and family and how much I didn’t want to leave them behind. Sad thing is that it takes experiences like this to truly ground us and remember the important things in life….and then we start the cycle of taking our lives for granted until another experience.
      You’re absolutely right-it isn’t until you stare at death in the face that you start to seriously re-evaluate yourself.

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