I’m dying. Every day I’m a day closer to being dead. Cells die off constantly throughout my body. And if I’m lucky and intentional enough about it, old habits, rules, ideas, and useless behaviors die along with those cells.
I’m being born. Every day, new cells in me are created. Every day new life emerges in this very body bringing me more alive all the time. New ideas emerge, new thoughts, relationships, and neural pathways are born bringing me ever closer to the Light we all strive for.
I’m living. Each day that my heart is beating, my lungs are doing their job, and the neurons keep firing; I am living. Each moment that I seek new learning, share with others, or engage in anything that lights my fire – I am very, very ALIVE.
Which part of me are you going to interact with? The dying part? The being created anew part? Or the living part? They all matter. They all have relevance… a particular role to play in this cycle of Life.
When I asked my client today, “What are the conversations you’re avoiding?” he replied with, “I don’t talk to people who are on deathwatch any more.” When I asked him to elaborate he described those people who don’t know how to deal with the fact his illness is terminal, they don’t know how to relate to him as a living being, but rather because they’re so distressed by the idea they’ll lose him one day and that they won’t know how to handle that themselves; they seem to be just waiting for him to die. They’re on deathwatch.
When time is in short supply, and the energy one has to share with any given person in a day is limited, the last thing someone who is dancing with an illness needs is to be the caretaker in a conversation – the one making it okay for everyone else that they happen to be dying a little faster than the rest of us probably are.
I asked if he was tired of people resorting to asking for report outs about his current physical state. After chatting about how we all tend to let our curiosity be about ailments, effects of medication, and have an incessant need to know why this or that happened, he blurted out “Mediporn!” We had a good laugh about how people get their rocks off over the low hanging fruit of medical details when they don’t have a clue what to really be curious about.
When I asked, “What should we be asking you about?” He said, “Talk about the normal adventurous little stuff of life. Talk about what’s real: fears, aspirations, and crazy, crazy ideas.” Please access and utilize the unique perspective of this person who is in a really different life situation than you are. He said, “Let me tweak people’s thinking about something, even if it’s just a hair, then they can get a revelation about themselves. I’ll plant a seed and trust they’ll make something useful from it.” He made it clear he wants to be of use.
Don’t we all want to be of use? Isn’t that part of what it is to be Alive?
Sometimes, especially at night, my client suffers; he suffers from bones riddled with cancer and the pain that brings. He forgets to call those who can help. And a part of me wonders, if we all had a better idea of just how to be with one another wherever we are…. If we could just listen when someone is suffering… if we could be curious about the “normal adventurous little stuff” during the day…. And engage with the Living being before us rather than our fears of our inadequacy in dealing with pain or death… If we could just not be so damned much work to be around… would he remember to call sooner? Would we all remember to ask for what we need sooner?
Tonight, my dear, sweet living and dying world… I ask you, what do you see from your unique vantage point? How will we ever get over ourselves about this thing called death? When will we learn to truly interact with the ALIVENESS in one another, no matter how limited our days may be?