March 20

Today's quotation:

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us
while we live.

Norman Cousins

Today's Meditation:

I often wonder why we find death so tragic while all around us people are walking around in pain, physical and mental and emotional, but so few of us react strongly to that.  When someone dies, almost all religions say that they're moving on to something much better--heaven, union with God, a beautiful spiritual world.  So why do we feel that it's so tragic that an elderly person dies, while inside of ourselves we let beautiful things die all the time?

Many people allow their compassion to die as they become more and more judgmental and fearful.  There are people who let their childlike sense of wonder die in order to take a more "adult" view of life, becoming more serious and staid and stodgy until kids don't really enjoy being around them any more.  Others let their love die because they allow their fear to grow.  Still more let their artistic talents die because they simply don't have time--they allow work and other obligations to become much more important than their creativity and talent.

It's been said from ancient times:  I don't want to reach the day of my death and find out that I never really lived.  But that's what most of us do.  And when someone realizes earlier than their death that they have let important parts of themselves die and then try to reclaim some of those forgotten parts of themselves, we call it a midlife "crisis"--a negative term that casts an awful shadow on the idea of trying to live while we're alive.

I'm not sure that these parts of ourselves actually die for good--I believe it's more like they're stuffed in the back of a closet and never fed or nourished again while we focus on other things.  But they may as well be dead if we leave them there and never utilize them again.  How many beautiful things never will come into this world because people have pushed aside their talents and abilities?

Many children share many poems and drawings and songs with their parents and other adults, but how many adults share such things with kids?  They can't if they've allowed their talents to die or be put away, can they?

Questions to consider:

What parts of yourself haven't seen the light of day for a long time?

Why might we let such things wither away to nothing in favor of earning money and taking care of "adult" responsibilities?

How can we reinvigorate such parts of ourselves?  Why would we want to do so?

For further thought:

It is not death that we should fear, but we
should fear never beginning to live.


Marcus Aurelius

  
   

  

 

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