There has been a lot of death in my life lately.
That sounds completely morbid, but unfortunately there is no other way to put it. It is what it is.
There have been people I know quite well, loved ones of loved ones and those that I had not met but had heard people speaking fondly of. The cross-section of society has been unsettlingly wide. Their passage has ranged from instant to sudden to expected. All have left huge holes in the world.
I was standing at a funeral last week – holding my blissfully unaware baby girl in my arms – watching someone else’s baby girl say goodbye.
A home video played on a large screen. The speakers echoed the typical hubbub of a family gathering into the air; laughter, joking, obnoxious squawking and just general happy banter. It was incredibly surreal to watch hundreds of people in near-silence; heads bowed and tears flowing, set to a soundtrack of utter delight. Unbelievably, the gorgeous soul that had departed had been filmed making a speech just two months earlier. She had no idea of what was coming. No one in the video did.
She spoke about the love and pride for her family. The first meeting of her ‘bit of an alright’ husband. The life she had made with him. He joked that the speech was about him not her. She hit his arm and told him to be quiet and they shared a smile. She continued on about their blessed life together, gesturing to her wonderful family.
Her final recorded lines about her full life?
“I am just so rich. I am just so lucky”
It was haunting and painful and stunning and blindingly poignant.
As death often does, it got me thinking about life. If I was rushed away as quickly as she was, would my days read like her speech? Would every single person in my life know exactly how much I cherished them? Would my actions reflect my intentions? Would my final thoughts have been happy and wide or petty and shallow?
I pondered this over the week. My husband and I made resolutions and commitments and vowed to stop sweating the small stuff; jeans fitting too snugly, getting behind on work because of playing with my daughter, the house not being immaculate or meaningless comments from irrelevant people.
It worked for a few days. Then on the weekend my husband and I had a very trivial tiff. I reminded myself to let it go. Be bigger. Apologise. Move on. I kept flooding my mind with replays from the funeral. But my ego would have none of it. I was white-knuckled holding onto my stubbornness.
I then spent the evening with some gorgeous girls and we did a releasing ritual. The way a releasing ritual works is that you write down thoughts and feelings that do not serve you and then burn the paper. As it turns to ash you release yourself from the pattern. Yes, it is just a symbolic gesture but I am telling you, tears welled while I watched my paper burn. I realised I had been ridiculous. I almost texted my husband but didn’t; I would tell him when I arrived home.
Later that night, on the way home I got the green arrow to turn right. I pulled out onto the t-section and just as I moved onto the road I saw lights out of the corner of my eye and slammed my foot on the brakes. A Landrover sailed through a red light doing at least 100kph and narrowly missed me. Had I not stopped I would have been directly in its path.
I pulled over to collect my thoughts.
Even with the week’s events I had tripped at a small hurdle and then lay there on the ground defiantly refusing to get over it. The apologetic text I didn’t send could have contained words that were forever left unsaid. Apologising over an argument I can’t even remember the day after.
Life is short and it gives you the same lessons over and over until you listen. It will throw pebbles to get your attention and if you don’t listen the pebbles turn to rocks. If you still don’t listen the rocks turn to boulders. It goes on until you get wiped out by an avalanche.
So after this crazy, world-shattering week the rock has hit me between the eyes and I am committing to a serious attitude revolution before a boulder flattens me. I take this space to declare the following;
I will not tantrum at my body. It is an amazing vessel that facilitates all that I am. I will love it for what it is and what it is not. I will shower it with love and compassion.
I will not compare myself. I am who I am and who I am is perfect. As long as I act kindly, I will not consider what anyone thinks of me. It is their business, not mine. I am cool with that.
I release technology and distraction.
I will not rush. Where I am is where I am meant to be. I will not wish time away. I will love my past, look forward to my future but be present and content with every stage of my life.
I release judgement and choose instead to beam love onto everyone that I come into contact with. I will encourage, lift and love.
Mine and my families happiness is my top priority.
So, dear friend, in the spirit of release – what do you release?
What is not serving you in your life? Consider this a safe space to declare exactly what it is that you are going to let go. If you don’t want to share here then write it down and then burn it. Feel the crazy shift in your conscious as you watch your fears flicker away.
If I have learnt anything this week, it is that life is way to freakin’ short to be holding onto anything but the stuff that sets your soul on fire.
Share with my in the comments what you release.