It’s a fact. One day you will be dust. You will be gone. What happens to your spirit no one knows, not really. If anyone tells you they really really know exactly what happens to your spirit when you die they are wrong.

No one has ever lived to tell about it.

I’m dying.

So are you.

Everyone who ever lived has died or is on their way.

What a blessing!

I call that sure knowledge Life’s Greatest Gift.

I may be out of this world tomorrow, next week, or 100 years from now. The point is, I don’t know. You may jump the flesh in the middle of this sentence. Someone is. Somewhere.

I hope they loved. I hope they gave. I hope they mattered to someone.

No matter how you slice it we only have so many days. The only thing we get for free is time, but the catch is we never know exactly how much. My heart aches in the missing of people who are gone.

Doesn’t yours?

Tic toc tic toc. Ever closer to the end.

Why so morbid?

To tell you to live!

How many hours do you want to bitch about someone else? How long do you want to hold a grudge? How small minded and petty do you want to get? How long do you want to sit on your ass whining?

When would be a good time to look in the mirror, let it all hang out and give yourself a much needed dose of honesty?

 

Are you taking care of your body? No? Fine. Just say no. Don’t offer excuses because who are you talking to? Yourself! You know the truth.

Are you taking care of your relationships? No? Well who else can? Are you taxing your friends or family with your issues? Are you allowing yourself to be pulled down by someone else’s negative feedback loop? Are you serving your relationships well?

I don’t mean are you being subservient. I mean serving. Giving joy and love. Giving gentle honestly and frankness. Showing strength to others with a mild word or a choice not to engage in argument. That’s service. Being strong for yourself is how you best serve others. I mention this because I see people trying to fix everything for others and getting worn out. You can’t fix things.

Except yourself.

Are you taking care of your finances? No? Then start today. I don’t care what your income is, start saving money. A dollar here, a dollar there. Whenever a little comes in, put a little away. Nothing will get you out of poverty or shelter you from hard times than learning how to save. It’s one of the hardest things for people to learn, especially in our society where it’s want want want. Every penny has to go to buying something! But I promise you, if you start saving, a dollar here, a dollar there, and make it a habit then your financial life will completely transform.

Are you taking care of your spirit? No? Then pray. Say a one second prayer of thanks right now. I don’t care to who or for what, just say thank you. Gratitude is the only way to happiness. I’m going to say that again: Gratitude is the only way to happiness. If you don’t have a thankful spirit you live an impoverished life no matter how much stuff you have. How could it be any way else? Give thanks to the Creator, or the subatomic particles, whatever. Give thanks to everyone you meet, even if it’s only in your heart. Give thanks for your blessings and give thanks for your suffering. Heck, you might still suffer but at least you’re not too down about it!

I say that tongue in cheek, but I really do believe it. Some of my best creative work has been done when I was sick. I didn’t have the strength or energy to focus on anything but what. I. Was. Doing. I was like a tremulous laser beam, my whole heart just happy that at least I could create.

Are you taking care of the people? No? Then you are not taking care of yourself. The people in this world are you. Not just your brothers or sisters in some kumbaya, we are all family, kind of way, but you. The same energy and material that made you made them too. The same spark of life in you is in them too. When you have no respect for others, if you don’t meet them as equals and as miracles you really just disrespect yourself. If you want self respect, start respecting others. There are a thousand and one ways to make a difference in someone else’s life. Pick one.

Give a homeless person some spare change. I know, I know, the city would rather you give to an organization but there’s not a “concept” in front of you, there’s a person. And except for some profound luck and advantages it might as well be you with your hand out. Who cares what they use the money for? Who are we to judge another? If they need a drink, believe me, until they’re ready to quit, they NEED that drink. A couple quarters isn’t going to make a difference for you but it’s the world for someone in pain.

That’s only one example. There are 7 billion others.

Are you taking care of the world? No? Well, I hate to break it to you but it’s your home, and really, you’re just borrowing it. I’m pretty sure our great grandchildren are going to be very pissed off that they can’t drink water without worrying about tumours. I know I would be. Again, it comes down to self respect, gratitude and service. Even if all the scientists are wrong and the world is just fine, I ask: What is wrong with being a mature adult? What’s wrong with recycling and finding better, cleaner, more long term energy sources? What’s wrong with caring about pouring radioactive waste into the ocean or dumping the waste from the tar sands into the river that runs through a community?

Nothing is wrong with it. It’s allll right.

Are you putting it all together? Yes?

Good for you!

We tend to make things complicated when really it’s all very very simple. So simple that it makes me laugh out loud sometimes. Be good. That’s it. Not some relativistic “good”. You know what I mean. The whole, “well, some people think good is killing their enemies for god.”

Let’s step back from the edge.

Every child knows justice. Every child knows happiness. Every child knows pain.

And so do we.

And before indoctrination by our religion, society, culture, what have you, we know good.

Don’t even worry about those ridiculous hypotheticals, even if we see them played out in real time.

Just concern yourself with making your life awesome.

Just concern yourself with sharing awesome, even with people who just want to drag you down.

And remember when that happens, that’s just their pain talking, their loneliness, their hurting lives.

It’s not about you.

But you can be bold. Confident. Loving and strong. You can say thank you and mean it. You can put your intuition into action to help others and to help yourself.

Keep joyful, keep safe.

We all die.

 

But we have today to really live.

 

 

What a freakin amazing gift!

 

Northern Home by Aaron Paquette