Some time ago my husband and I watched a movie in which one of the main characters was told that she had one week to live. The initial part of the movie involved her attempt to disprove the message and the messenger who prophesied that she would meet an untimely demise. She was unsuccessful in her quest to prove that his other predictions were wrong, and therefore that the one for her was also incorrect.
Ultimately, the character began a quest to assess her life, to slow her busy pace, and to experience life beyond her work. As predicted, she gained new insights and understandings, accepted the call for true love, and allowed herself the luxury of asking the question, “Was it all worth it?” She had made many sacrifices in her quest to prove herself and to gain notoriety and success as a major television reporter. She then received a near fatal gunshot wound, survived, and emerged as a new person with a new perspective on life. She had an opportunity for a life do-over.
My husband asked me the question, which I submit to you today, “What would you do if you knew that you only had one week to live?” As macabre as that question may seem, it challenges us to take a long, hard look at our life and the meaning that it has for us. From that thought flows questions that, if answered, may cause us to change how we view life and act, regardless of the length of time that we have left.
If I had one week left to live…
- Would I waste it worrying about the small things (who slighted me on a given day, who used my coffee cup at work or got my parking space, income taxes, the rising price of gas, etc.)?
- Would I attempt to make amends, where amends are needed, and share the love and appreciation that I feel for others?
- Would I get rid of material things that have cluttered my life and pass them along to others who can use them?
- Would I spend the time wrapping up things that I need to do at work so that I could leave a clean and tidy desk, or would I use the time to share my thoughts with my co-workers?
- Would I wear that outfit, drink that bottle of wine, or play that music that I have been saving for a special occasion?
- Would I review my life with this new perspective, and see how much time I wasted worrying, procrastinating, caring about what others think of me, concerned about how my hair looks, and wondering whether I am aging gracefully?
- Would I sleep that time away or would I take every opportunity to behold and experience the wonders of nature and life (sunsets, sunrises, squirrels playing, birds singing, the scent of newly mowed grass, children playing), which I have been too busy to stop and appreciate?
- Would I allow myself the luxury of taking the time to savor the experiences of my life instead of living life vicariously through others?
- Would I allow myself the privilege of some good belly laughs simply because it felt good to laugh and to hear the laughter of others?
- Would I throw myself a party inviting my family, friends and acquaintances to come say goodbye, and allow me to share my memories with them?
As you read this, you may question whether this is truly a motivating message. It is intended to be so. If we choose to live our lives in a manner that allows us to say, “It has been a really good life and I have no regrets” then we may find ourselves eliminating the emotional clutter that crowds out a joy-filled life.
Affirmation for the Week:
“I let go of the belief systems and emotions that bind me and keep me from living a full and content life.”
Have a boundless week!