A couple of months ago I listened to Oprah interview Michael Singer, author of “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself.” It was a great interview, but unfortunately I can’t comment on the book itself as I haven’t read it yet. I have found this part of the interview creeping into my thoughts regularly:
Oprah says, “My favorite line is when you say, 'Let’s say you’re living life without the thought of death, and the Angel of Death comes to you and says, ‘come, it’s time to go,' and you say, “But no, you’re supposed to give me a warning so I can decide what I can do with my last week! I’m supposed to get one more week!' Do you know what Death with say to you? 'I’ve given you you’re whole life! My God, I gave you 52 weeks this past year alone! And look at all the other weeks I’ve given you! Why would you need one more?’
They had been talking about death being a teacher, and that we all have the cognitive ability to understand that we will die so we should use that knowledge to live the lives we should be living - inspired lives that further our spiritual growth, serve others, work toward our highest potential, etc. Instead, we often plod along, going through the motions, and instead of living with intention each day and using all these cumulative moments that we are given to move toward our highest purpose, we wait for our “real lives” or “true purpose” to come together later, ideally without much effort on our part. We put it off, thinking our time is infinite, all the while encountering examples of too-soon endings that can be helpful reminders that all life is finite - including ours.
In a less morbid way, I am living this concept of feeling my time is running out as I approach the time when I will leave Italy. I’ve lived here for nearly 4 years, and I have had a very fulfilling time here. I’ve been to some beautiful places, eaten wonderful food, enjoyed the culture, and more than anything I’ve made some very special friendships. I’m now down to my final few weeks, and it is very bittersweet. I can feel myself trying to push away the leaving - a type of denial that because the time isn’t NOW, in this moment, then maybe the time won’t ever really come to say goodbye. I don’t know that I will ever feel completely ready to go, and the thought comes up often - “Just ‘x' more weeks? It’s not enough time!” I know in my heart the time is right for us to leave, and I’m happy realizing what great things await me on the other side of the move - family, old friends, a new home - but translating that into a detached sense of actually going without a sense of longing to remain is something I have not mastered. Hopefully, when it comes to my own mortality, when the time is approaching I will know in my heart the time is right, I will be happily anticipating seeing again family, old friends, and my new (old) home, and I will have mastered a better sense of detachment with this reality. It is certainly a worthy goal.
I am an Ananda® certified meditation teacher. I am passionate about meditation and embrace a yogic lifestyle for greater wellness physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
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