Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Truth about Life

The truth is, I’m dying. You are too. (sad face right?)  Everything is dying right along with us, so no need to feel alone. This fact is hard to swallow for many people. Not all, of course. I fully understand that I am dying. I’m sure there are many readers who also understand the inevitable truth.
Now, many people have different opinions on what happens after one dies, but I’m not going to get into that. I’m going to focus on the very simplest ideas of death. Most conclusively being; everyone does it.
My body is aging. Someday I won’t be able to go on vigorous hikes through the woods. Eventually I won’t be able to go on hikes at all. Sex will even become a difficult event. The simplest task as holding this pen will eventually be an incredible feat. Looking beyond old age is death. One could guess in an instant, for musing purposes, nothing. In the beyond, I will cease to exist as Staci Nicole Litten. I won’t be able to touch or feel or kiss my loved ones, I won’t be able to drive my car or take a warm bath. Earthly pastimes yes, but still pastimes that I do quite enjoy. Ethereal being or no; I will not be able to drive my car once I’m dead. I understand that this is the way it must be for me. I am completely 100 percent ok with it, but am I completely 100 percent aware of it? How aware am I of death?
I find that with a busy lifestyle such as mine (and I’m assuming I can include nearly everyone in this lifestyle due to the vicious life sucking society we live in) I hardly think about death. Knowing you’re going to die, and actively acknowledging death and dying as a part of life are completely different thought processes. When one takes the time to understand the cause and effect functions of living, day to day life gains a whole new perspective. The goal and intention of our lives becomes detailed and clearly evident.
For example: As a child or young teen you learned that if you stay up late, the next day you will be less efficient and tired. Your ability to perform well in everyday tasks might suffer and eventually  you will take it upon yourself to get to sleep at a reasonable hour.  (For those of us who are rebels or more harmlessly restless night owls, the concept of rest took a bit longer to grasp.) other cause effect functions include; earning and spending money. Throughout the years you learn that there is a limited amount of money available to you. You can do things to get more money, but no matter what its always going to be limited. Because of this when you go to purchase something at the store a great deal of thought goes into what exactly it is you want at that time. You learn that because you have limited money, you want to spend it on something that will be worth you having worked to get it. This entire choosing process can bring down heavy amounts of agonizing stress on certain individuals. If one can learn to balance what he or she can actually afford with what we want, some sense of peace can be found.
Understanding that our mortal earthly bodies have placed confines upon us (constraints either made my society or those simply biological) actually allow us a very useful bit of insight. Knowledge of our restrictions enables us to shape our lives and focus according to what we find most important and valuable. We learn to ignore the unattainable (or suffer in envy from coveting it). The impossible gets phased out because there are some things in life that we simply can’t and don’t want to do.
At a distance we can observe the cause and effect in this manner. Because we cannot stay awake forever, we learn when we should sleep. Because we cannot buy everything, we learn to buy the important things, only what we truly want.  Much more to the point, in this reality there is one thing that is just as precious as currency, if not obviously 1000 more valuable. This element is time. Much like money, we only have so much time, and we must spend it wisely. Many people understand this fact, but few actually observe the momentous impact living with time on the mind can have on our lives. Do people understand that there is only so much time? So much thought is put into money, but money is much less concerning then time! You can’t go to a corporate building and take out a loan of time. Unlike money, you can’t make more time by working hard. In fact, hard work often leads to a loss of time. This makes time all the more precious and valuable.
Because you had that busy day, running errands and doing yard work, now you must make it up to your body and sleep. Get your rest. Because you wanted that expensive outfit, you have to sacrifice other things on your purchasing budget, and quite unfortunately, because you take the time to live, you have to eventually die.
It’s time we acknowledge death. For death is the dealer. Death decides exactly how much time we have in our lives. Every second you are alive you are that much closer to the end of this life and all the familiarities that it entails. Some of us, believe that there is such a thing as the afterlife, and that spirit continues on after the eyes have closed. Yet, I quite like this life and all its creature comforts. I like the starry skies, the cool feeling of sand on my back as I stargaze and the sound of the cars driving on the pavement on the roads.  I like the way my heart flutters when I think of my boyfriend. Even If I still am a loving being after death, I won’t be able to experience these sensations. It will never be the same. Yes, I like this life, and would enjoy staying in this position in our cosmos for as long as I can.
We should make it a point to embrace death and allow it to be one of the factors in our decision process. Might as well utilize this cause and effect function of life, because while are spending time living, we are also constantly dying. Knowing that this lifetime doesn't last forever can help us decide what is most important in our lives. It can help us grasp onto the focal point of our reason for being.
What are we doing day in and day out? What are we spending our time on, Monday- Thursday as we work and wait for the weekend? I for one, never wait until Friday night to take advantage of my time. I make sure I do something delightful every single night of the year. Some might say that’s the obvious thing to do; good for you I’m glad you’re on board with me and understand my viewpoint.  Others might say that irrational, naive, or simply dramatically overboard. I say its tiring. Keeping busy all the time can wear a person out. I’m likely to die sooner than my peers because of the vast difference in sleep I get. I’m likely to have more health problems because of it.  But my philosophy is that I can sleep when I’m dead. When I feel like I’ve accomplished enough, that’s when I’ll slow down.
Some people work mindlessly throughout their lives. Is it important to have a lot of money? Do I want to spend 8 years in college so that I can become a doctor, and make doctors wages, working lengthy doctor’s hours? Or, would I rather follow the gripping impulse to take the predictably poverty ridden path as an artist, without a college education, spending my days making beauty? Should I even be wasting and hour of my life writing this blog? (Of course I should, because you guys are great. ) What is most important? These are the things we must ask ourselves, and we won’t know the answer until we know death. For knowing that death will happen, and that it could come whenever it chooses, we are able to prioritize our lives dramatically.
So take a moment and get to know death. Understand what impact death would have on your life. Settle down and for imaginations sake, visualize death.

“Hello Death, I’m Staci Litten, I know we haven’t talked, ever, but I understand you play a huge role in my life… what? My New Year’s party I held last year? Oh yeah….. No, no, sorry about that… the invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. Yeah I know I’m sorry I never call anymore...”

Have a little chat with your imaginary Death. What would death tell you if you could ask right this moment, what he suggested you be doing? What things in your life would Death find trivial and what would he say you needed more of? What would death, the closer of the book that is my life, say he would like to read before your tale is finished?  Once you build up your relationship with death, don’t push it to the back burner, keep up good correspondence, For those who don’t keep death in mind are the most surprised when he comes knocking on their door. The most important thing we should all remember is that earthly things like money and materials shouldn’t bother us any more then what we need to survive. For we can all choose when we save and spend money, but we are always spending time

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