One of my colleagues lost a very young family member this week. A young woman who just had started studying at University. I can’t even imagine the pain and sorrow this has caused for my colleague and her family. Some of my first thoughts ware the usual in this kind of situations ‘so young, with her whole life ahead of her, why does this happen to young, kind people?’, and so on.
Let’s face it, death is the only thing in life that we are guaranteed will some day reach us. Death is part of life. We don’t know when we are going to die and we don’t know how we are going to die, but we know we are going to die. It seems random who dies when. Some die young, some escape death in incredible situations, others die in the must absurd situations.
When we are faced with death, we immediately think about life. We start reflecting on what kind of life is worth living.
There are, of course, different answers to this question, and we often have a tendency to think that we are missing out on something and that in order to have a meaningful life, we should be doing ‘something else’, ‘something bigger’, ‘something more spectacular’. But what if, living a meaningful life means living exactly the life we are living, only intentionally, with awareness? Mindfully.
My idea of a meaningful life might not be your idea of a meaningful life, but just make sure that you don’t go chasing impossibles because you feel you don’t live enough. Maybe, the secret is in the beauty of now and the feeling and attitude we bring to it. I keep going back to the same over and over again: clarity, calmness, love and trust. Don’t wait until you can do something ‘special’ to believe that you are leaving a meaningful life. Start with yourself, get to know yourself, be kind and patient and make time every day to nurture yourself. Sleep enough, eat well, rest, and know your strengths and weaknesses so do your part the best you can. Then, look around and notice those around you. Show them that you notice them. Whether it is your family, your colleagues or just a random person.
Be grateful for the small and the big things, for the good and exciting and for the challenging. Gratitude expands our hearts and allows us to develop humbleness. Humbleness teaches us to appreciate simplicity, and this way, life feels meaningful no matter where we are and what we are doing.