Remember, someday you’ll die. Memento mori.
That’s the biggest lesson or reminder that the pandemic has taught us.
Nobody gets out alive from here. Everyone dies, sooner or later – with Covid or not.
So with that sure reality of your limited time, are you loving what you’re experiencing or doing right now with your life?
Lisa wasn’t relaxed. She’s very stressed each day at her work as IT consultant in the office.
“I hate my job, doc. I’m into it only for the money. I’d rather be on my own and start my business. But I’m afraid to take the leap,” she reflected over Zoom session.
For Lisa, it’s about a job she hates. For others, it’s about unwanted or harmful relationships. Still others, it’s about life in general, how they feel about it and themselves.
The fact is, life is just too short.
How can you live it or your limited supply of days feeling you’re wasting time on things you don’t care about?
Mental health counselor and author Wendy Lustbader, in her book “Counting on Kindness,” once pointed to the experience of an “unlived life.”
An “unlived life” wastes time. It gets you ill. It produces self sabotage. It makes existence a purposeless drab.
“The parts of ourselves that we neglect lie in wait for us, like an accusation. More than any other influence, illness fosters our recognition of unlived life. We become detached from the life we had been living and see its presumptions … In my clinical work, I have found that the transformations achieved by people facing serious illness or advanced age tend to be far more dramatic than those attained by people still caught up in the business of living.”
Too many of us wait for illness or death … for breakdown … for getting old or nearing death … before we change to truly live our lives.
It doesn’t have to be that way in your life. You can start facing yourself, changing for the better, at any age. Right now.
The global Covid pandemic gives us the time and the impulsion to do this.
Poh Chia writes in Daily Bread,
“These words echo the wisdom given by the teacher who wrote Ecclesiastes. ‘Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart’ (Ecclesiastes 7:2). Death reminds us of the brevity of life and that we only have a certain amount of time to live and love well. It loosens our grip on some of God’s good gifts—such as money, relationships, and pleasure—and frees us to enjoy them in the here and now as we store up ‘treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal’ (Matthew 6:20).
One popular businessman-patient of mine says at the height of widespread virus infections in his city,
“For the first time in my life, I can sit still. Before, I never had the time to stop and look at myself. I was always racing about, never giving a thought why. When Covid came, it forces me to sit still and think about the rest of my life.”
Remember, someday you’ll die. Make the most of the days you have left.