What Would Be On Your Lips?
“My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride…” – Nickleback, If Today Was Your Last Day
Many have a love/hate relationship with the authors/singers of those lyrics, Nickelback. As for me, I simply love the song. A few years ago, it was on constant rotation in my vehicle. This was after another relationship went south and funnily, I was not broken but felt extremely liberated.
See, I had entered that relationship on a rebound. At the heights of it, no one could tell me that was the case as the one that I was “rebounding” from had ended at least a couple of years earlier and there was none in between. Thinking this was to be the last relationship for the rest of my life, I agreed to go all the way and we got married. No sooner than our honeymoon, I realised what a horrible mistake I had made – but it was too late. The deal was done. Or was it?
There was this one photograph of me, taken by one of my dearest friends at a time when I had more or less crawled out of the dark hole that I was kicked down. After two failed suicide attempts, a small circle of friends, mainly women and my friend and his husband, loved me back to edge of the pit. It was then up to me to climb out and I did. One evening, still bruising, Ren and his then partner, now husband, invited me over for supper. I had not left my house for any social events up to that time and it was time to do so. They enticed and cajoled me with a promise of some of my favourite Filipino dishes and the fact that it would just be us three.
Stepping Back From The Edge
Dinner over, dishes piled into the dishwasher, the real party began. Ren was then an amateur photographer with enormous talent and patience. Whenever we would visit, he had me pose for pictures. He has caught me on film in many moods and this evening was no different. This was the first time, however, that he decided to use props and costume. The result is a photograph that would later remind me of my healing journey and the fact that I had detoured.
After a year, I told my husband that I wanted out – the marriage was a mistake and I needed to do the things on my bucket list, including be happy without a reason – just as I was in that picture. For all intents and purposes, I had nothing to be happy about when Ren captured that smile. My heart was shattered, my finances were in almost utter ruin as my partner had left me with all the debt, and I was alone in a foreign land that it was never my intention to be in.
Something Inside So Strong…
Some-Thing deep inside of me, however, was ready to move me to the next level. Looking over some of my old journals this weekend from that time, this beautiful quote succinctly says it all:
Only you can reclaim the power you gave away.
I was ready to get my power back. I was ready to live. It was my last day of living a false life, one prescribed by society. I was dead to that claudette. In that moment when the truck pulled away from the house that I was mortgaged up to my neck for, taking away the man who loved me as best he could, I knew it was not enough and only I could give Me what I needed. I was resurrected and promised myself to live each day as if it was my last.
Living Like It’s Your Last Day – Everyday
How does that look?
- Wake up with a smile every morning, giving thanks for another opportunity to see what is possible.
- Speak your mind with love, never holding back the truth but using your words compassionately and kindly as best possible.
- Make contact everyday, anyhow, with at least two people who means the world to you every day.
- Use 100% of your talents and skills in your career or job, regardless whether it is the dream one.
- Do only what you love in your spare time.
- Before retiring at nights, give thanks again for the day that was and all that occurred in it.
- Complete your daily praying with words such as these, “If it is Thy will for me to arise again in a few hours, may it be so and may you be there to guide me.”
You do not have to believe in God, Allah or follow the teachings of the Buddha. Once you have any connection whatsoever to Life, Nature and/or to anything that you may call God – these seven steps or adaptation of them will make every day your blessed last and lived to the fullest. This is what I call practical spirituality.
When asked this question, some might respond with a list of fancy things they would do if today was their last day. Take it from me, of the few dozen or more people who I have sat with at their bedside as they made their transition into the next dimension, whatever it is, stuff was never on their lips.
If today was your last day – what would be on yours? Leave your thoughts, words or suggestions in the comments below. Have a great last day!
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