Why are you here?
If someone informed you today that the number of days, weeks, or months you have left to experience life on this planet and in this physical form are suddenly limited, reduced to a period of time which is significantly less than what you had previously contemplated, how would that change the way you live?
I met a man today who is living in that stark reality, a kind, kind person whose physicians have given him a prognosis of one year until his physical body will slowly and finally shut down and become unable to sustain life in the way he knows it. And until that final and ultimate transition, he will painfully struggle for each and every agonizing breath he takes in every moment of his days, battling against a disease that is methodically paralyzing his lungs and robbing him of even the smallest and simplest of his day-to-day joys, like walking and talking and laughing.
Boy, if there was ever a time to become clear about what matters and what doesn’t matter, I imagine facing your own imminent transition out of physicality would be it. I also imagine that all the things that may have once seemed meaningful — a bigger house or a fancy sports car or plenty of money in the bank — would suddenly fall into the shadows of “stuff that’s not important” when your thoughts and energies are consumed with your next breath, and your next breath, and your next breath, and your next breath.
If I was not paying attention today, I could have easily missed the opportunity to answer some really big and very important questions. I might have confused my reason for being in that room as having to do with my job, believing that I was simply there to do what I was being paid to do. I might have preoccupied my mind with my unfinished “to do” list, thinking about my almost-empty refrigerator and the long overdue grocery trip or that load of clothes in the washer (for the second time) or whether or not I remembered to tape my favorite television program.
But I was paying attention, the result of which led to the first fundamental question I posed to myself: Why am I here?
I knew the answer to this powerful four-word question was really big and really important as it would chart the course for not only our time in this perhaps fleeting relationship, but long after and in large and unseen ways. It would lay the foundation for not only my own experience, but it would significantly impact the experience of all those in the room. And as I stepped into the clarity of which aspect of Divinity my Soul yearned to experience, I could hear more vividly, I understood more deeply, and I felt more perceptibly.
My question also caused me to understand that this terminally ill man, whether intentionally or not, was in the room to serve as a reminder to me, and all those who are now reading this, to live into our own highest visions and ideas about who we are all the time, in every moment, embracing every opportunity as a chance to live our best lives. If, as the book The Only Thing That Matters says, 98% of the people on this planet are spending 98% of their time on things that don’t matter, we might want to consider amending our “bucket lists,” which are most likely filled with all the things we want to “do” in our lifetime, to include the things we desire to BE in our lifetime — compassionate, fully present, kind, supportive, loving, understanding, patient, etc. — because these are the things that ultimately really do matter.
Why are YOU here?
(Lisa McCormack is the Managing Editor & Administrator of The Global Conversation. She is also a member of the Spiritual Helper team at www.ChangingChange.net, a website offering emotional and spiritual support. To connect with Lisa, please e-mail her at Lisa@TheGlobalConversation.com.)