For some reason, the fact that we only have ONE life really hit me hard this morning. All of us “know” this, but so many of us are born, live, and then die without truly KNOWING this. To KNOW this truth is to live by this truth, and for some reason, embracing this fact is scarier to most of us than stuffing that knowledge down into the deepest crevices of our brain and only bringing it back into the light when it’s too late.
Having only one life is incredibly challenging, but the harder the challenge, the sweeter the reward. I believe that in order to truly live life in the knowledge that we only live once, we have to figure out all aspects of ourselves and pursue them whole-heartedly.
One thing we need to figure out is how we are failing. I was doing my morning Instagram scroll when I came across a post by Jada Pinkett Smith (Will Smith’s wife, for those in the dark ages) where she made a comment that it’s all about self-mastery. It was directed towards cheating, but I feel like it applies to all of our specific human failings. It is imperative that our journey through life is focused on how we can improve ourselves because Lord knows that none of us are born perfect, and we have pressures honing in on us from every aspect of the universe, both good and bad. Therefore, in order to make our one life 100% what we need and want it to be, we have to hold the knowledge of how we will react to these pressures and (the key) use that self-knowledge to make continuous positive changes.
Another thing that we need to figure out is what we actually love doing. I am currently in the middle of watching “The Ranch” on Netflix, and there is a couple on the show who is getting divorced after 40 years because she discovered all of these things she enjoys and he is content with the same old that he has been doing for his entire life. Neither of them are at fault for enjoying what they enjoy, but because she only figured it out in her late 60’s, their marriage is now broken. It is essential to give ourselves permission in our younger years to figure this out. So many times we are too busy with the important task of making a living that we forget that we also need to make an enjoyable life, not just a profitable one. Life is too short to not love.
The third thing we need to do is figure out our purpose in life. Every. Single. Person on this planet has something that they were born to do, and so many people meander through their lives without fully figuring out what they were meant for. This could be as simple as being the best mother or father to as complicated as opening the eyes of millions to a truth buried for generations. Yet, once you have truly discovered your purpose, your energy shifts, and there is an intensity to your actions that would otherwise not be there. Think of the power that lies in intense purpose, and imagine how much different the world would be if everyone tapped into that.
Finally, the last and most important thing we need to do to truly take advantage of our one precious life is to tap into a higher power. I grew up very religious and conservative, and as I grew up I shunned those beliefs and basically lived my life as if spirituality didn’t exist. I was always a good person, but I didn’t feel the need for spiritual guidance. However, there have been things that I have seen lately and stories that I have observed that have revealed to me the true potential that exists in opening ourselves up to the incredible spiritual power that lies all around us. I still, personally, haven’t figured it out fully, but I am realizing more and more that to deny that a spiritual force exists is nothing short of idiocy. The only thing we have to be careful about is tapping into the right power. I see people who are not only successful but calm, present, and exude wisdom, and they all talk about an energy that is something more than we can fully comprehend. Like everything else on this list, this takes true desire to KNOW–but I think that once this is in place, everything else will follow.
If you stop and give yourself the time to contemplate, life is a beautiful thing. Like fine wine, it is meant to be savored and revered. If treated properly, it will only get better with age. And, it is meant to be shared with someone you love.
Rather than fearing the inevitable end, embrace the pulsating, living, moving beginning and middle–as we all know, getting there is half, if not all, of the fun.