Tuesday, November 29, 2011

THE GIFT OF EVERY DAY

Every day we are given is a precious gift. I spend most of my days living as if I have an unlimited portion to spend here on earth. I don't. No one does. I don't want to look back on my life and shake my head with regrets about how I used my own allotted amount. I want to be able to look back with a smile, knowing I lived with purpose, integrity, and appreciation for each and every day I was given.

I think that if people who have already passed away were able to speak to us, they would tell us to stop wasting time. I'm not referring to mundane and menial activities. These are a sacred necessity, and an opportunity to commune with God and develop more of his character in us. The time-wasters that are on my mind are mostly internal ~ worrying about the future, living in regret over a bad decision, allowing anxiety over present circumstances to take up residence. We humans can spend so much time and energy living in painful memories or fears about tomorrow that we miss out on the present.

I think that those who have passed on would tell us that life is too short and far too precious to invest it in emotional baggage that only weighs us down. They would nudge us to say no to the toxic memories, the debilitating fears, and the pity parties. I think they would encourage us to stop beating ourselves up because we did or said the wrong thing. They would implore us to discard the pains from the past and start enjoying the present. I think they'd counsel us to stop assuming responsibility for the wrongs we have witnessed. Let's face it. We all have things in our past or present that can drain the life out of us if we let them. Why do we let them?! I guess because it seems the noble thing to do, or we buy into the lies that are fed to us and accept them as truths. But I think they would tell us to put these things to rest.

When someone we know passes away, it reminds us that we don't know how many days we have left. I don't want to waste one more day of the time I have here. I am saying "no more" to my old memories that have haunted me for years. Instead, I am going to ask what I can learn from them and move on. I am not going to buy into the anxiety of what-ifs that can take up residence in my mind. Instead, I am going to breathe in peace and calm and faith that all will work out according to God's good plans. I am not going to whittle away my time stressed out about the future. Instead, I am going to adjust my vision and see it as an unknown adventure just waiting to be explored.

For those who have gone before us, you are missed. Your absence is a reminder to grab hold of those we love and tell them how much they mean to us. The memories we hold dear of you encourage us to build new ones that we can leave behind for those we love. Life is too short to wait until tomorrow to hold a loved one's hand, share a laugh with a friend, or tell someone you think the world of him.

"When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life in such a manner that when you die the world cries and you rejoice." ~Indian Saying

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present." ~Alice Morse Earle

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today." ~Cherokee Indian Proverb

"If you have one eye on yesterday, and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today." ~Author Unknown

"We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow." ~Fulton Oursler

"Every day you are alive is a special occasion. Every minute, every breath, is a gift from God." ~Mary Manin Morrisey

"Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think." ~Chinese Proverb

"One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon ~ instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today."  
~Dale Carnegie

"Life, if well lived, is long enough." ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca
         

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