Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
We have 63 guests and no members online
Over the past week, I have struggled with how I would address the horrible loss that our entire country mourns. The death of sixteen vibrant young individuals, combined with the overwhelming need to try and help the remaining thirteen survivors, has left me frustrated as a writer. How do you pen words of a positive nature when your heart is weeping?
I expressed my frustration, sadness, and a feeling of inadequacy with a friend of mine who happens to be a pastor in Calgary. And just as I was about to abandon this topic with feelings of guilt and regret, he reached out to me again. He dug out the following from a service he did a year or so ago, and upon reading it, I found it comforting. So, with those thoughts in mind, I felt sharing it with our readership might bring some comfort to others. I believe the original work to be credited to Joyce Marter.
1) Life is truly a gift. We’re probably all guilty at times of viewing time as an obstacle we need to hunker down and get through (e.g. “Isn’t it the end of the workday yet?” “I just need to get through this year...”) Death reminds us that life is precious, temporary, and not to be taken for granted or begrudged. A daily practice of gratitude, such as a journal entry or a conscious thank you to our Maker, is a great way to stay positive and aligned with the awareness of the awesome gift of life.
2) You are not your resume. While our academic and career accomplishments bring knowledge and experiences, it is our choices that define our character and bring wisdom. Some day when someone gives your eulogy, it is doubtful your scholastic accomplishments or career title will be cited. What will be remembered is how you made people feel, so be mindful of being present in your relationships and be your best self.
3) The present moment is where life occurs. We all reminisce about the past and worry about the future. Death reminds us that all we have for certain is right now and re-calibrates our values. Don’t waste your life second guessing your past or waiting to live your life. Live life passionately and fearlessly. Live today and every day to its fullest, brilliant magnificence. Laugh with abandon. Even in the last weeks of a loved one’s life, I have experienced moments where I was overcome by fits of hysterical laughter together. I’m grateful for those precious opportunities for connection and hold those memories close to my heart.
4) Loss can bring unexpected and enormous blessings. Hardships are opportunities for growth. Unimaginable losses are openings for the soul to receive healing love from new sources. In my own journey through life, I have been awed and inspired by the resiliency of the human spirit. You never know how strong you are until you endure the unendurable. While it may be impossible to understand our losses, I believe all people come into our lives for a reason, setting our lives on the correct trajectory for our psycho-spiritual development. Notice the blessings you have received from your losses and be grateful for the ways those experiences have carved wisdom and depth into your being.
5) Love is the currency of life. In our culture, we place far too much value on achievement, money, possessions, and beauty. Love is what matters and what is remembered. It is LOVE that connects us to one another and to the world around us, in life and beyond.
This nation, coming together in support of the families and the town of Humboldt as a whole, is proof that there is much love in the world. If any good can come of this tragedy, it’s the realization that we still have the ability, compassion, and will to watch out for each other. Let this be the lesson that reminds us that no matter our life goals, differences, achievements, or losses, that in life as a whole… we are all in this together.