Should You Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last?

Warning: This post contains statements of the blindingly obvious. Sometimes this is where the gold is …

Two things in this life are absolutely certain:

  1. Death is coming – dispatched at the moment of conception, ETA unknown; and
  2. On the other side of every experience that doesn’t kill you, is more life, regardless of your condition (emotional, physical, mental, spiritual). A birth, a wedding, the death of a loved one, a peak experience, an injury – on the far side of each of these experiences, life continues on.

So what to do with these absolutes?

Live Each Day As If It Were Your Last?

Have you tried this? It’s exhausting. I would (and have, following a couple of near death incidents) say yes to many intriguing experiences, banish negative emotion, spend all my savings on much-longed for experiences, and turn a blind eye to many things that I might otherwise stand-up for.  Imagine trying to pack everything you want to be and do into just one day. Put on repeat … hello burnout.

Living like this leads to emotional exhaustion and (no prizes for guessing) … more life (unless, you YOLO yourself into an early grave). Only now you’re doing it without funds. To live like this neglects basic survival needs. Sooner or later, you find yourself exhausted, poor, and with more life still to lead, much of it perfectly ordinary.

So what to do with the absolutes?

If you really allow the approach of death and the inevitability of more life to live, into your daily life, that awareness can harness the wisdom and clarity of your higher self.

The awareness of death (whether short or long term) is a tremendous sorter of sheep from goats. It prioritises like nothing else. It also reminds you that this is your life. No one will live it for you. There’s no point in waiting for things to happen, or permission from some external force. After all, you have no idea on the ETA of your death, or anyone else’s.

Considering absolute number 2 can release more generosity, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, resilience, reflectiveness, peace, calm and persistence than you ever believed possible.

Consider a particularly awful and stressful period of your life – whether it lasted a few days, weeks, months, or even years. In the intensity of the experience, it seems as if things will always be like this, that you may not survive the experience, that you can’t cope, can’t go on, don’t know what to do or how to continue. And yet, here you are, reading this, living the life that awaited you on the other side of that experience.

For me, this knowledge helps me in dark times, and reminds me to be present and grateful in enjoyable times.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Anais Nin

Awareness of these absolutes can also harness your courage. If you don’t die in your experience, you will have more life to lead. Is that argument worth it (and it could be)? Do you really want to say yes (or no) to that offer? Are you going to continue waiting until Death sidles into your lounge room?

Courage is not about taking wild, crazy risks and burning yourself out. Courage is the energy of the heart, applied to the visions that live in the deepest realms of your being, so that they can come to life in the world.

Are you going to take the steps that are calling you to bring your dream to life?


What arises in you when you consider those absolutes? I’d love to hear from you.

 

10 Comments

  • Sabine

    Reply Reply September 27, 2016

    Hi, Thank you so very much for your blog Pollyanna!
    It is ‘interesting’ that I read your post in the here and now where I have been thinking and feeling into ‘courage’ more deeply. After pulling a Tarot card last night that had (Astrologically) the Sun in Aries and the message was to be courageous and bring your heart’s wisdom into your doings, be brave and know that you are looked after!
    For some time I have been in a transitional phase and this phase has been and still is about death and dying. Even though the pain sometimes feels like a physical death, I am aware that in order to give birth to life we must let something die. From our very first breath, death and life are intertwined I believe.
    I just went for a bush walk this morning where I had an encounter with a rather large red belly black and while I was contemplating whether to just walk past this beautiful creature or to wait for it to move, I had this profound feeling of death and life coming into my being. Also the snake as the wonderful symbol of the goddess of mystery, death and transition…

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply September 27, 2016

      Hi Sabine – that is deeply bizarre as the morning I wrote this post, I came across an enormous red belly black snake, but it was dead, coiled up on the side of the road. You saw the live one, I saw the dead one! x

      • Sabine

        Reply Reply September 27, 2016

        Wow that is very interesting! Also, because for some time I wasn’t sure whether ‘my beautiful creature’ was alive or not… but it was… Living symbolism of transformation and mystery and wisdom… Since your lovely Equinox event I have been connecting more with the divine feminine 🙂 Thank you! Great to be alive! xxx

        • darling_lover

          Reply Reply September 28, 2016

          Yes it is!!!

  • suzy

    Reply Reply September 27, 2016

    beautiful reflection Pollyanna. yes exhausting to fulfil all iur man made wishes in one day. I feel the secret is just to be happy now. whatever happy means to us…time by the water, or in the bush,or time to read a book or to have a relaxing bath or a chat with a friend. And always no regrets.

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply September 28, 2016

      I love no regrets. Sometimes it takes a little effort to find a way around to not regretting. There’s always another way to look at things …

      • suzy

        Reply Reply September 28, 2016

        I tend to look at it this way.. if i really want to do something but my fears etc get in the way,I ask myself..Will you regret not doing this down the track. If the answer is yes,then ifind a way to overcome my fears and do it. For example I had huge surge of panic before my 18yo sons funeral. I knew I would regret it if i didn’t get up and speak. It was not an occasion that could be repeated. So i mustered every ounce of courage and walked up. Instantly I was engulfed in a warm feeling of oeace as if someone had or their arms around me. No regrets. We are assisted every step of the way once we take the first step

        • darling_lover

          Reply Reply September 30, 2016

          Yes, we are.

  • Margaret Bending

    Reply Reply October 26, 2016

    Hello Pollyanna,
    sorry for the late reply, my email has been playing up lately. Thankyou for your post and observations on this topic about “Death”.
    Yes it does seem a tabu topic no one likes to talk about.It has been an incredible journey for you two experience two such life threatening experiences. I too have experienced an actual death at twelve years old, when I drowned off the coast at Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria.
    I went down the “Tunnel” towards the light, as I did my short life flashed in front of me in one moment. At that moment I said to myself “I’m not ready to die yet”. “I haven’t done what I came to do”. At the instant of that thought I was back in my body thrashing around in the water grasping for the rocks. Afterwards I left it in the back of my mind, never shared it with anyone till later in life when diagnosed with Cancer. For me it makes me realize we have an individual purpose to carry out in our life time, and until we have carried it out we aren’t ready to go. So the dilemma is “What is my purpose for being here at this time on earth?
    And yes it takes courage to sit still and receive that, and then take baby steps towards it’s fulfillment. I found “being”, and being still rather than running around doing lots of things to fill a void, much more meaningful.

    • darling_lover

      Reply Reply October 27, 2016

      Yes, being still is so important for reflection, receiving and intuition. Thank you for sharing your story. When you shared your story when you were diagnosed, did it have new meaning for you?

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