What if you died tomorrow? A shocking question possibly, but very important nonetheless. For the young and healthy it may even seem irrelevant, very likely abhorrent.
But really, what if you died tomorrow? What would die with you? What words? What blessings? What gratitudes you never got round to sharing with the ones you treasure most?
Five years ago today the man I loved, died. For six months, he embraced a profound vulnerability that allowed us courageous conversation to the end. It isn’t always this way. Some people are gone in an instant. A different loss. One potentially loaded with regrets of things not said.
In the routines of daily life, our energies are easily allotted to the plethora of copious tasks. We make numerous commitments to our work and our world, experts at showing up on time, preparing the dinner, social networking. But where do we make time to share with our family, friends and colleagues what we deeply love and appreciate about each of them? Maybe we do? Could we do more? What would it look like?
“We are most fully ourselves when we give ourselves away,” suggests Karen Armstrong.* Undoubtedly. Maybe the question needs to be how and how often.
How often, caught in the “To Do list” of life do we stop and reflect on the ways someone has enriched our life? How often do we consider what we might never have known without their companionship or expertise?
How often do we take the time, or muster the courage, to tell them? (Assuming they already know, is an illusion.)
The joy of such words for both giver and receiver would be nothing short of astounding. Besides, who doesn’t want to hear words of gratitude or admiration? Nobody I know!
Today is a new day. The one day we have for sure. Start giving yourself away.
* The Spiral Staircase