UntitledAfter seeing this meme a friend sent this message right before take-off on a flight to Seattle:

“Interesting.  I’m not sure what that means. 
Not to be difficult but when I read it I know I have time. 
Even if it’s 5 minutes. I’m ready for my after life. 
How do you read it?”

I contemplated my response, then generated the message below once in-flight WiFi was turned on:

It’s a wonderful, deep question you have asked which I will attempt to answer best I can given my current situation of sitting in coach squished up against the window as I thumb away on my cellphone screen.

The meme states: “The trouble is, you think you have time” – Buddha

I must share that when I read this, it resonates very deep within me. Let me ask this: if you knew you were to die tomorrow, how would you live and love today? Would you lose your peace over a coffee stain on your dress? Or being caught in the rain? Of course not … if anything, you’d stand in the rain with your arms outstretched and your heart open to soak in as much of the experience as possible because you’d never see, feel, smell, or taste rain again after today. You’d call up your mom and dad and let them know how much you loved them, that you forgive them for any shortcomings they made as young parents when you were a child, and you’d thank them for sacrificing so much to raise you. You’d even make amends with difficult people, saying “It’s ok, as you wish.”

But why is this? Why don’t we do that right now? Why do we allow ourselves to get angry when we spill coffee on ourselves, or get rained on? Why do we take our loved ones for granted? Why do we fight with people? Why do we lose our peace? Seemingly trading it for anger, pain, and other negative emotions even though no one knows when their last minute of life will be?

Many people might be ready to die and are not afraid of it. But what about life? That’s much scarier for some. But how come? What’s so scary about opening one’s heart to love audaciously, forgiving others, and not sweating the small stuff so that you can live a life of bliss? What’s scary is the lack of control we have in a chaotic universe that we try to tame and force into a personal model of shoulds and should-nots. So when things happen that we don’t like, we often close up our hearts to protect ourselves from pain.  But in the end up all we do is cut off the supply of love.

This is the paradox the meme touches on.

We all know that we will die at some point … maybe 5 mins or 50 years from now, yet we live in anger, pain, and negativity as though we are immortal.

In short, the meme says “You think you have time to be filled with love and live a life of bliss later in life … When in reality, you can do that right now by surrendering to God/life/the universe, and accepting all life paths as divine guidance.”

As strange as it may seem for much of life, your body is not immortal and you are not promised any time beyond the moment of now.  It would be wise to use the possibility of death to fuel deliberate choices to embrace inner peace and happiness with each opportunity of life.