Last night I watched a heart-wrenching programme on BBC 2 called, A Time to Live. It was about death but more about life. Let me clarify that.
It was a documentary about 12 people who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, the majority of whom only had months left to live. It was touching and emotionally moving. The programme delved into the thinking of each person and how they viewed their imminent death sentence as a chance to live.
Some were parents with young children whilst others were grandparents. From time to time, although they were exceptionally brave and resilient people, their imminent departure from this life, showed through their toughness.
If you knew the approximate date of your death, would you appreciate life more?
Personally, I don’t know how I would cope if I was told I had a terminal illness. It must be like digging out your birth certificate and suddenly seeing an expiration date. Maybe I would react the same as these people have. The human spirit is, after all, extremely resilient.
Their Biggest Inspiration
I watched with real intent as these lovely souls bared all on television. It was interesting to note how many of these remarkable people all said that it was only since they received their diagnosis that they actually started living more fully.
“I used to care what people thought about me. Now I don’t give a f*%#,” said one wonderful lady. She had finally released those shackles that seem to be tied to so many of us. She no longer gave in to the perceived thoughts of others. No longer were other people going to stop her from doing what she wanted to do.
“Colours are brighter. Trees are greener, flowers look more colourful, everything is brighter. Every beautiful feature of my husbands face now stands out” stated another woman.
This woman had suddenly become aware of her surroundings. She was appreciating everything far more.
Shouldn’t we be doing this too?
I often blog about this concept. Get up earlier, go watch a sunrise. Instead of being online every minute, go for a walk in the countryside and take notice of what is around you, be in the present moment. It is a great stress reliever and super for your mind.
“I can only be here NOW…doing the best I can” said another.
A Beautiful Theme to Everything
Of all the things that were said I didn’t seem to hear anyone commenting on worldly things in a materialistic sense.
I wish I was online more.
That material things matter.
Or success. Or more money.
No. It was all about relationships. They wanted to spend the time they had left with people, their families and their friends. They wanted to create memories that would last in the minds of those they were going to inevitably leave behind anytime soon.
This life is not a dress rehearsal. And you won’t be getting an encore to come back and try again. Not even for a few minutes.
They also started doing things they wished had started earlier in life. Some took to painting, others dancing, travelling and photography. Things they loved.
So, What About Your Death and Your Life?
I blogged before about one day you are going to die. and it contains a small exercise thinking of your death for 5 minutes; it is quite liberating.
It won’t give you the same urgency as it did for the people in this programme, but it is a start to perhaps waking you up to the fact that we are all on limited time here.
Again, as I have often quoted, this life is not a dress rehearsal. There will be no encore for you.
So what is stopping you from doing what you love? Or at least trying. Why not start now and give it a go? What about repairing that broken relationship? What is stopping you from making the first move? Pride? What they might think?
And please do not think I am anti-success or against people earning millions, I am not. Of course those things are important and it is healthy pursuing them too. But not at the expense of missing out on what really matters in life.
Too many people are too wrapped up in material possessions, keeping up with other people, status symbols, how big their house is and the like. This causes stress and an unhealthy mind.
(You can do both. You can be successful and earn more and still remain mentally healthy. It is what I coach my clients to do)
Stop caring what you think others might think about you. To hell with that. This mistaken mindset once removed, helps my clients achieve so much more.
Spend more time in the present moment. Appreciate what you have around you. There is beauty, marvel and wonder everywhere if you look.
And Finally, to Those Who Post About ‘Herbal’ Remedies…
I see memes all over social media about how big pharma is preventing ‘herbs’ and ‘flowers’ form ridding the world of cancer. Or reading about how a piece of ginseng or turmeric (Or whatever) has completely “cured” this horrible disease.
Some of the people in this programme had tried everything to prolong their life. The majority of this pseudo-nonsense does not work. I wish people would stop promoting such.
Please, don’t get me wrong I am open to anything that would help. I am not a fan of big pharma either, far from it. But if you were in their shoes what would you do?