The Wealthiest place on the planet is the graveyard, because in the graveyard we will find inventions that we were never exposed to, ideas, dreams that never became a reality, hopes and aspirations that were never acted upon.” ~Les Brown
I think about the above quote a lot lately. I guess it’s a side affect of talking to people about death every day. Oddly death isn’t really the thing it makes me think about, but because I talk about death all day when I’m alone my thoughts turn more to life. I’ve made my peace with death already, not in a I’m ready to go kind of way. I would describe it is as more of a I’m not afraid of you, so you no longer rule my life type of way. Funny thing is that I have noticed that there are more people out there that are afraid of life than they are of death. I don’t know about you but when the bright light comes and beckons me to follow it, I want to be able to move on knowing I did the things that brought me joy and not look back and wonder, but did I live…..
I know I lived in the sense that I had the jobs, made the money, paid the bills and did the things that I was taught to do. None of those things necessarily any more fulfilling than the other, they all amount to a hamster wheel we seem to get caught up on and can’t seem to find our way off. I’ve had the weddings, the divorces, the relationships that I just can’t seem to get right. Don’t get me wrong they all gave me what I needed at the time and I wouldn’t be half of who I am without even one of them. All those things thrown into a scrapbook together will certainly make a life, but that bigger question to me lies just a little deeper below the surface and it still asks, I know I had a life, but did I live….
Did I ever, even just once throw a dream up into the air so high I couldn’t see if it was coming back, and just hold my arms out open wide, eyes closed with faith that I could catch it? Did I stay so closed off in my walls of distrust that I missed the fact that I could have made a difference, or did I live with a completely open heart? Did I help when I could? Did I speak out when someone needed a voice, or did I pretend that mine didn’t matter? Did I write the book? Did I take the trip? Did I sing the song, the one that only I can hear? These are the things I ponder when I hear the words, but did I live…
Trust me when I say that contemplating death makes people come up with notebooks full of regret. Things they wish they had done different, people that they wish they would have stayed in touch with and a body that they wished they would have loved enough to take care of. More people than we realize have a mind so full of regret the it’s the first to die. I hope that like me, you refuse to be the person with the deathbed regrets. I hope you live with a wide-open heart, ready for all possibilities. I hope you live with gratitude for life, because each second is a gift. I hope you cultivate joy in your life and not just things. Make memories and not just paychecks. I hope you take a deep dive into the mysteries of life and if you ever find yourself asking the question, but did I live….
I hope the only answer that you can shout from the rooftops is YES!