Saturday, April 18, 2009

Living Life Backward

Today we lost a friend. Someone just a few years older passed away. It's always a shock when someone young dies. We feel that they were cheated out of a full life. We want to believe that we have all the time in the world to do those things that are most important to us. The truth is that we never know when the clock is going to stop and our time is up. We try to focus our life on the areas that reflect our values. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we forget. It's so easy to get caught up in the everyday demands and stresses of life.

A long while back I read an article that I never forgot. It talked about living life backward. It sounds very odd, but thinking about the concept made perfect sense. We begin with the words spoken by our loved ones as they say their goodbyes at our funeral. We listen to the things folks say about us as they give their condolences to our family and one another. We hear them speak of the love that flowed from us to them as we lived our lives each and every day. We think about our last few moments. We have our loved ones around us wishing us well as we pass from this life. Their eyes glisten with tears as we part company for the last time. We hold hands. What are we thinking? How lucky we have been in this time on earth. How much joy we have experienced, how happy we have been with our family and friends.

This brief look gives us great insight into what is actually important to us. Are we thinking about the room we didn't paint? Are we sad that we didn't work the extra shift? Are we upset about the stain in the carpeting? No. We are totally and completely focused on the most important areas of our lives. The ones that matter the most... the people we love... our family, our friends, those folks who gave meaning to our lives. That is what we treasure. That is what matters.

Do we invest our time where it adds meaning to our lives? Are we chasing rainbows, or are we allowing ourselves to put our time into the areas which reflect our inner values? The most important relationships in our lives are those we have with our partner and our children. Are we putting our time and effort into those relationships? Do we invest enough in the areas that matter most? As we invest ourselves, so follows our heart.

Give yourself the ability to live life backward! You will never regret it!!

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