Learning to Live
I come to you in the form of this article simply because I have found I have no other way to get through to you. It seems that most times when we meet, our encounters are quick, superficial, and you quickly push your awareness of me from your mind.
Our relationship wasn't always this way. When you were a child, you couldn't understand me, and so you thought of fun & interesting ways to grasp me. When it became too much, you simply put me out of your mind and went on your way. As a teenager, you recklessly pursued me since you thought you were invincible and that your virility would keep me at bay. Now, your awareness of me is limited to brief encounters, and you cope with me by imagining that somehow, you are the exception.
It saddens me that you ignore me...that you deny my very existence. I have so many wonderful things I want to teach you if you would only stop for a moment and encounter me. People fear me but that is only because they don’t know me. Those who have explored me and my lessons have come away much more vibrant and alive...I really want that for you too.
When you avoid me, it's your way to try to deny the passage of time, but ignoring the truth doesn't make it any less real. Time is passing...you are getting older...your parents are getting older...your children are getting older, and at some point, you will face me. How you live until then is what is really important to me.
You see, when you take the time to know me, you will find that I am really much more of a silent partner in your life, inviting you to live. Remember Randy Pausch, author of “The Last Lecture?” When he realized that he was on his way to meet me, he took the time to make sure that the important things he needed to say were said. He passed on the lessons of his life to his children and became an international sensation as many people pondered how he could be so ALIVE while he was dying. I don’t want you to be diagnosed with terminal illness to learn how to live so I’m sending you this invitation in the form of a blog: Meet me, and when you do, let me teach you how to live.
To become aware of my presence in your life is the key to living a vibrant life. When you are aware of me, you waste less time on unimportant tasks and spend more time on what really matters. You accomplish the things you’ve always wanted to but never did. Inviting me into your world injects a certain poignancy, even an urgency to really live life well. It brings the awareness that life is so fleeting and can pass us by in a moment, and with that awareness, you can begin to drink deeply of the cup called today. You will learn that you can even face what scares you and come away stronger.
It is now officially spring 2012. It is a perfect reminder that no matter how hard you try to hold it back, time still passes. It is also a good time to ask yourself: how will I choose to live from today on?
We will meet again; hopefully, not before you learned what I want to teach you.
-- Lisa Vallejos