I Will Be Grateful for This Day

I will be grateful for this day.

I will be grateful for each day to come.

– Bright Eyes

After watching the devastating documentary, Seaspiracy, on Sunday, I feel as though I was given a death sentence. I imagine it feels similar to going to your doctor and being diagnosed with a terminal illness. In some ways it’s not that bad. I should at least have a few decades rather than only a few months or years. Additionally, I’ll hopefully be able to enjoy good health up until that point. However, in other ways it is worse. A terminal illness is merely a personal end. Whereas, this will result in the end of all life. Certainly all human life.

I actually cried on my drive to work this morning. I was overwhelmed with the beauty of the trees and the grass on the side of the highway, the cows calmly grazing in the fields, the sun, the atmosphere, the air we breathe. How much longer do I have to bask in the absolutely majesty of these things? How much time have I spent allowing myself to be distracted by insignificant nonsense? Why have I continued to waste my time and energy on anything other than love?

It is really hard for me to fully wrap my mind around all the information I now have. I feel as though I need to start living each day as if it were my last. How exactly do I do that though? That has been my issue. Even with death hanging over my head, it is still surprisingly hard to let go of all of my ridiculous habits. It feels like I have been primed since childhood to plan for the future. We are all encouraged by our schools, by our families, to make decisions and go about our days in ways that will benefit us in the future. Being able to delay gratification is a coveted and admired character trait. Years of living each day with my mind in the distant future, has made it quite hard to be comfortable just living in the present moment.

I don’t want to waste any more of the limited time I have to love and be loved on this dying planet in the middle of the vacuum of space. I have been reminding myself to be grateful for every moment. I am even going to invest in some books about coping with death and mortality. I was actually somewhat excited and relieved when I realized that these types of resources might be able to help me. For years now I have been struggling with how to seek help for myself given that most people don’t take my concerns seriously. Viewing this as a terminal illness has really allowed me to open my eyes to the vast amount of self-help materials that are out there for me.

Yesterday, my mother, who is skeptical about all of this data, asked me what the point of people making these documentaries is if we are all doomed anyway? I’ve been taking some time to think about that myself. It seems like the people that make these films somehow still hold out hope that we will be able to come back from this. I personally think they are in denial. However, even though I believe we no longer have a chance to change things, I still feel the need to spread this information and share it with those around me. I didn’t really understand why I felt it was important to do that though.

After giving it a lot of thought, I’ve decided that it is still important to get this information out there even if nothing can be done. It is important because I think people have the right to know this information. Most won’t believe it, but that’s their choice. I just want to make sure that for those that are willing to accept this data, they are given the opportunity to know about this harsh reality. Perhaps this will give them the motivation to live these final years in a more meaningful way. Maybe others will have moments of simple joy and happy tears just from the sight of trees and grass like I did this morning. Either way, I believe that knowledge is important in its own right. Reality matters.

For me, I am going to use this grim information to inspire me to live what remains of my life in a way I can be proud of. I want to give away all the love I have within me before my time is up. I want to be helpful and make a difference in the lives of those around me, those I care about. I want to savor each sweet moment of experience on this beautiful Earth. I’m going to spend more time outside in the sun, feeling the cool soil beneath my feet. I’m going to spend more time with my loved ones. I may not be able to save the world, but I can save myself by being grateful for the time I have.

Photo by Keegan Houser on Pexels.com

A New Perspective in Compassion

140512-conor-oberst-cover-story

Hello, my darlings. Today I would like to share some of my thoughts about making peace with yourself and everyone else and allowing more compassion into your life. Not only do I want to help the human race to be more kind to animals, I’d like to help us be more kind to one another as well. This is often something I struggle with myself.

It is quite hard not to let yourself get angry with someone who seems to be behaving less than polite or even plain aggressive. Even something as innocent as driving under the speed limit is enough to make most of us irritated. I have tried for years to curb these angry impulses I feel towards others that I encounter throughout my day, but not even regular meditation seemed to help me much.

However, this summer one of my favorite artists, Conor Oberst from the band Bright Eyes, released a new album. A few of the lyrics in one of his new songs really struck a cord inside me. He says, “Maybe no one really seems to be the person that they mean to be.” This simply made my heart melt with compassion for all of my fellow humans. I had never thought of it that way before. Now when I see someone behaving in a way that angers or irritates me, I am calm. I reflect on the many times in the past when I might not have been at my best. I think of the many reasons they may have for their actions, from something as simple as having a bad day to something as encompassing as how they were raised.

No one wants to be a bad person. Everyone makes mistakes and can give the wrong impression. Just because you recognize something as rude or careless, doesn’t mean that person was trying to act that way. They just weren’t viewing the situation in the same way that you were. So now instead of becoming angry with that person, I feel nothing but compassion for them. I wonder who they are trying to be, and how it differs from who I perceive them to be. I offer them sincere feelings of peace, happiness, and love.

I would never blame a dog for being viscous or misbehaved. I would blame its owner for treating it badly. I have learned to apply that same principle to humans as well. What are we if not animals ourselves? Now instead of blaming the person and being angry, I blame their environment and experiences throughout live and feel compassion.

I hope that this can give some fresh perspective to others who read this. It is an extremely uplifting feeling to be in control of your anger. The energy you release into the universe does matter even if you think it to be insignificant. Let us all try to be more compassionate towards our fellow earthlings. We are all one. ❤ Stay peaceful, dears.