My cousin is dying. She has stage 4 stomach cancer and is 34 years old, leaving behind a 3 1/2 year old son and a loving husband as well as a circle of family and friends that love her so incredibly much. Talking with my Aunt yesterday, without the miracle we are all hoping for, she may only have days left. And although this really is not my story to tell, the thoughts that have been filling my mind are. I've been thinking about this a lot lately, wondering what must be going through her mind as she prepares to leave this world, leaving her little boy and husband behind.
After I got off the phone with my Aunt I walked out my front door, welcomed by the sun kissing my rosy cheeks and the crisp air causing me to shiver. I wrapped my arms around my waist, giving myself a much needed hug and sat on the cold concrete steps, tears falling down my cool cheeks landing in my lap. I tilted my head towards the sky and closed my eyes, my mind consumed with the thought of how unfair it was that someone so young, so full of life was being taken so soon.
It's quite a paradox actually.
My mind wander to places I was wasn't sure I wanted to go. I feel sad for not knowing her better, for not placing more importance on family and friends and treating every moment with them like the gift that it is.
I spent a lot of my life longing for what I didn't have failing to see all of the amazing things I was gifted with in my life. So many of us do this, don't we?
I sat on that cool concrete step yesterday thinking about this, not with regret but as a lesson, a road map to answering questions that have been on my mind lately. How can I really, truly be more appreciative and grateful for and in my life? How can I continue to grow and fully show up in my own life in a way that is truthful and authentic. Where am I still hiding, surrounded by my protective armor?
It's easy to say we are grateful and to give thanks to what we have but what does it really mean? How does it really feel in our bodies, in our hearts? How does it shape us and lead us towards the lives we really, truly long for?
A Tim McGraw song has been playing on repeat in my mind, Live Like You Were Dying, and the words take on a new meaning. I want to show up in my life in ways I never have before. I want to leave a mark on the world that changes the course of many lives and most importantly, I want to live from a place of deep and immediate joy and meaning and complete, wholehearted gratitude.
You never truly know when you time here will be over. How do you want to live your life?
Will you join me?
Grab those you love and tell them so daily, as much as you possibly can. Let go of regret and lingering conflicts and forgive. Embrace where you are at in your life and in your body and mind and commit to propelling forward with confidence and so much love for yourself and live your life like you were dying.
We only have a limited number of days here. How will you chose to live them? Take that leap of faith and try something new, let go of something you've been holding on to, take that first step forward into the life you've always wanted. Trust.
And most importantly, love until you can't possibly love anymore and then... try to love more... extend your heart.
Live today, like you don't have a tomorrow.