We do not choose to be born. We do not choose our parents, or the country of our birth. We do not, most of us, choose to die; nor do we choose the time and condition of our death. But within this realm of choicelessness, we do choose how we live. ~Joseph Epstein
Late last year, both of my parents passed away within months of each other. They left the confines of this life and I'm no longer able to see and spend time with them as physical beings alive with me here on earth. I have struggled with wrapping my mind around the fact that the time came to say goodbye. I miss them every single day.
Mine is a close, tight-knit family. Although my parents were "Mom" and "Dad" to me, they were also my mentors and two of my very best friends that I miss terribly. I feel fortunate to know their exact wishes as we often talked about life and death and spirituality. My knowledge of their inner thoughts and feelings have been a great comfort for me since their passing. I've come to realize that within the realm of choicelessness (that the Joseph Epstein quote refers to), my parents exemplified and did indeed teach me that we do choose how we live. Perhaps, you can think of people like this in your own family, perhaps you think this way also.
In America, this past weekend, we celebrated Memorial Day, a federal holiday for remembering and honoring the military personnel who perished while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Each year it is a time of reflection as we celebrate these individuals who courageously chose to give of themselves for others through their military service. Many of these men and women have ultimately sacrificed their own lives in times of conflicts and wars to protect the freedoms we cherish in the United States of America. Today, I am reminded of this freedom and feeling gratitude for what a gift it truly is.
Thanks to my country and my parents I learned that I do have choices in life, and it is up to me to make them, live by them, and to honor and be thankful for life every where, every single day. All life is precious.
Live the Moment
In his book, The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, author John Izzo Ph.D. shares great wisdom derived from elders in our society that impart: At every moment you have a choice to make by questioning:
- What am I thinking? Do I need to change it?
- What am I feeling? Do I need to change it?
- How am I acting? Do I need to change it?
Based on a highly acclaimed public television series, John Izzo interviewed over 200 people, ages 60-106, each of whom was identified by friends and acquaintances as "the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning." From town barbers to Holocaust survivors, from aboriginal chiefs to CEOS, these people had over 18,000 years of life experience between them. John Izzo asked them questions like:
- What brought you the greatest joy?
- What do you wish you had learn sooner?
- What ultimately mattered and what didn't?
The book shares their stories and the five-secrets he learned from listening to them. It is an inspirational read. We all can learn what really matters in life: Be true to ourselves; leave no regrets; become love; live the moment; give more than you take. Follow your heart, live wisely, live fully on purpose.
Here is some more borrowed "Life" wisdom:
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult-once we truly understand and accept it-then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.” ~M. Scott, Peck "The Road Less Traveled"
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~The Dalai Lama
Wisdom is knowing what to do next, virtue is doing it. ~David Starr Jordan
An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized. ~Leo Buscaglia
In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and the future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line. ~Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) American Author
The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. ~Harriet Beecher Stowe
Even death is not feared by those who live wisely. ~Buddha
Begin to see yourself as a soul with a body rather than a body with a soul. ~Dr. Wayne Dyer
By Judith Garner, Certified Health Coach
Helping people stay healthy inside & out!