Monday 6 November 2017

Cut the bullshit

Have you ever lain down in the grass on a warm summer night, look up at the sky, notice the trillions of stars (really notice them, as if seeing them for the first time), and had this deep, profound moment of realizing just how small you are? I hope you have. It's an oddly satisfying experience. 

It makes you appreciate the fact how tiny and insignificant you really are. And how tiny and insignificant your problems are in the big scheme of things. I mean, when you get a glimpse at the vastness of the universe, you can't help but see your seemingly larger-than-life worries from a new perspective. 

Like all of us, I get caught up in the tedious annoyances of daily life. He hasn't emptied the dishwasher; she never cleans up after herself; this person is so fucking annoying. Work sucks, my husband has the longest man cold mystery illness ever, why am I losing so much hair, dusting is the most pointless job in the world. The list of petty little grievances can quickly become a long one - if you let it. Looking at the stars helps with that. How can you worry about dust when dust is even smaller than you? When the entire world is made of dust? When it will all be gone in the blink of an eye?

Photo credit @itseriksen

But looking at the stars is not something you can do all the time. There are several prerequisites necessary: It has to be night; it has to be cloudless; you have to be in the right frame of mind. It's a wonderful occasional reminder, but it doesn't help in a pinch. 

You know what does? Pretending that you only have one year left to live. 

If you think that's a horribly depressing thought, and the last thing you want to do when you're already fed up with the world is thinking about death, hear me out.
I believe that being aware of your own mortality is an incredibly powerful tool that works for you. 
It's my secret weapon that I pull out when I feel scared, overwhelmed, or unsure which way to go. 

Let's say you have this friend that you've been friends with for years. You used to be close, but lately, you find that she sucks the life out of you. Every time you meet you feel drained and depressed afterwards, and you find yourself avoiding her as much as possible. But you are still friends with her, for old times' sake, and because breaking up with someone is horrible, and because it's so difficult to be honest. You've been stuck in this situation for months, with no end in sight. 

But now pretend you only have one year left to live. One precious, short year. Would you still hang out with this person that makes you miserable? Or would you gather all your courage, and tell her in the nicest way possible that your friendship has run its course, and that from now on, you won't see each other any more?

Becoming more aware of the shortness of life cuts through a lot of bullshit. 
Would you diet during your last year? Say no to cake because "you've been so bad lately"?
Would you worry as excessively about what your neighbours think of you?
Would you stay in your soul-sucking job that makes you want to stab a pencil in your eye every minute you have to spend at the office?
Would you still think that you will go on that trip/see the Grand Canyon/make up with your kids/fulfill that big dream "later"?

Or would you sit down, look at yourself and your life, and make a list of all the things you want to do before it's too late?
Would you hug your loved ones more?
Tell your friends you love them?
Would you dare to sing loudly - and badly - at the Karaoke bar?
Forget about the housework and drive 12 hours to see the Northern lights you've always wanted to see?
Would you take off your clothes and jump into the lake naked, with your rolls, soft tummy, stretch marks, cellulite, and pubic hair proudly on display?
Would you forgive the ones who have hurt you?
Would you forgive yourself? 

Don't wait. Life will be over before you know it.

Top and bottom images from Pixabay.


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