The Purpose Of Life: Live Like You Are Dying, Loving, Accepting And Healing What Is… (#2)

May 28, 2010 · Filed Under Purpose of Life · Comment 

“Don’t spend a lot of time imagining the worst-case scenario. It rarely goes down as you imagine it will, and if by some fluke it does, you will have lived it twice.”

Michael J Fox, Author
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future.

When faced with challenges of illnesses, loss, grief and trauma, we often grow emotionally, mentally and spiritually – and sometimes, we even heal physically! All of us are born as wise beings who forget our wisdom during the journey of life so that we learn lessons needed to rediscover who we are; that is, that we are loving, wise beings and that we are here for Love – Unconditional Love of Self and Unconditional Love of others.

Looking for our life’s purpose is rather interesting. Have you noticed that you can be feeling peaceful and fine and the moment you focus on your thought that you have not found or are seeking your life’s purpose, you begin to feel a sense of being out of balance, as though you are missing something? But, you were feeling whole and balanced until your mind had you paying attention to the thought that something was missing! Dying or grieving and dealing with an illness like cancer forces you to recognize what truly makes you happy – and balanced – as well as what your life purpose may be.

Being at peace comes with you becoming aware of the need to accept and unconditionally love whatever the situation, moment or circumstances may be. When my patients begin to be conscious of what they are holding onto (often something from the past) which causes them pain, suffering and discomfort, they know they have a choice and that whatever they choose to focus their energy on will determine, for them, whether they get to feel good or not good – which leads to their possibly restoring balance and well-being to their lives.

In the May issue of Reader’s Digest, Michael J. Fox, during an interview, shares lessons learned from his illness, Parkinson’s Disease. His words reinforce the power of your choice: “When things do go bad, don’t run, don’t hide. It will take time, but you’ll find that even the gravest problems are finite, and your choices are infinite.”

In the same article, Michael J. Fox provides the following excerpt from his new book, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, which validates how crucial it is to accept whatever the loss is. He states: “I was really trying to hide from myself. But with no escape from the disease, its symptoms, and its challenges, I was forced, after exercising in vain all other options, to resort to acceptance, which simply means acknowledging the reality of a situation. As my acceptance grew, I came to understand that loss is not a vacuum. If I didn’t impulsively try to fill the space it creates, it gradually began to fill itself, or at least present choices.

Healing, then, often does not begin until you face the threat of significant loss or illness. Why is it that we do not stop ourselves in our tracks when we are out of balance until we come face to face with something that feels catastrophic? Again, the wisdom of the Buddhists needs to be considered: Live your life as though you were dying. When you remember this advice, you live very differently, very intentionally and very meaningfully – and you choose wisely.

For example, when the doctor tells you that you may be dealing with an illness such as cancer, you may find yourself experiencing either fear of the unknown – including thoughts of possibly dying – or you find yourself suddenly reflecting on all the desires , hopes and dreams you have been planning for – and wishing you had done something more about them. No two people respond in the exact same way. Some may wish to get right down to the business of receiving treatment. Others choose to quickly assess what they have or have not accomplished regarding their lifetime goals. Others quickly and insightfully recognize that the issues to which they were attached, dealing with anger and resentments, need to be immediately released – if there is to be peace of mind, body and spirit. To live like you are dying, choose what feels right at the level of your heart, but, if possible, choose what fills you with joy, passion, enthusiasm, and, of course, Love.

What I know for sure is that when you recognize that you are an energetic being and you choose to focus on anything that represents loving energy, especially Love of yourself, as well as Love of others, you experience inner peace and contentment- even during the most challenging of times. The reason for this is that Love is the highest of energies and has the capacity to enhance your physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual states. Therefore, when you need to confront fearful thoughts related to the possible loss of someone or something, choose to fill with thoughts of Love. In the words of a renowned physician and author, Jerald Jampolsky, “Love is letting go of fear.”

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”
& Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

The Purpose Of Life: Live Like You Are Dying, Loving, Accepting And Healing What Is

May 16, 2010 · Filed Under Healing Wisdom, Purpose of Life · Comment 

“If I had an hour to live, I wouldn’t be calling anyone who owed me any money, or anyone who had wronged me in any way during my lifetime….With the time I have left, I choose to allow my thoughts to rest in total peace, right here, right now in this precious moment.”    ~Richard Carlson

Have you noticed that the moment you or a loved one receives news of a life-threatening illness, such as cancer, Parkinson’s Disease or ALS, or a significant loss, so much in your life suddenly takes on a different meaning?  

Instantly, you find yourself valuing time and everything else in your life in ways you could never have imagined. Suddenly, you find yourself discovering meaning in places, including relationships, which you had previously discounted. Perhaps, for the first time, you “get” what this experience known as “the journey of life” (your life) is really all about. And, even better, you know you are “getting it.

Country music artist Tug McGraw sings a song, “Live Like You Were Dying,” that is especially meaningful to loved ones (or those close to loved ones) who have been recently diagnosed with cancer or any other significant illness. Written when he learned that his father had been diagnosed with cancer, the song touched hearts everywhere. In fact, it secured the #1 position in country music in the United States for seven weeks. What I love about “Live Like You Were Dying” is that it reveals an immediate shift in perspective regarding what seems to matter or not matter after being told that you are dealing with a life-threatening illness or possible loss.

So often upon receiving unwanted and unexpected news concerning the possible shortening of our lifespan, we question the meaning of life or our life’s purpose, and this, in turn, leads to a stunning sense of clarity and intuitive knowing about these matters. For example, upon learning that he may be dying, the main character of Tug McGraw’s song wastes no time in engaging in activities he has always wanted to pursue, including skydiving, mountain climbing, fishing and bull riding. Even more significantly, knowing that life may soon end, he engages in faith- related matters, including reading the Bible and forgiving everyone. The listening public, as judged by their desire to hear this song, appears to recognize the truths that McGraw speaks for so many of us.

The Tibetan Buddhists have long known and advocated that life needs to be lived as though we are dying. This is something I share with my patients who are stuck in their attachments to issues, things, places and people which prevents them from fully living their lives. When you are aware that your time is limited, be it as a senior, a terminally ill person or someone about to lose a relative or friend, all the issues on which you focused that have kept you at a distance from your family and friends melt away.  It is at these times that your valuable material possessions seem much less valuable– but people you love and care about are more precious than ever. Why is this?  It has everything to do with Choice and your awareness of the power of Love. (To be continued)

Susan Barbara Apollon

Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”
& Intuition Is Easy & Fun

©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon

p.s. For our seniors, please visit our Seniors 101 page where you will find a link for the Longevity Solutions Members Directory.