Have you noticed that when we die, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success?
It’s easy, in effect, to miss the real point of our lives even as we’re living them. Until we’re no longer alive. A eulogy is often the first formal marking down of what our lives were about—the foundational document of our legacy.
Our eulogies are always about the other stuff: what we gave, how we connected, how much we meant to our family and friends, small kindnesses, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.
So why do we spend so much of our limited time on this earth focusing on all the things our eulogy will never cover?
“Eulogies aren’t résumés, they describe the person’s care, wisdom, truthfulness and courage. They describe the million little moral judgments that emanate from that inner region.”
– David Brooks
Even for those who die with amazing Wikipedia entries, whose lives were synonymous with accomplishment and achievement, their eulogies focus mostly on what they did when they weren’t achieving and succeeding. They aren’t bound by our current, broken definition of success….
Whether you believe in an afterlife—as I do—or not, by being fully present in your life and in the lives of those you love, you’re not just writing your own eulogy; you’re creating a very real version of your afterlife. It’s an invaluable lesson—one that has much more credence while we have the good fortune of being healthy and having the energy and freedom to create a life of purpose and meaning. The good news is that each and every one of us still has time to live up to the best version of our eulogy.
Who am I beyond the functions I’ve served?
Where have my past habits of body and mind, enacted throughout the decades of my life, led me in terms of peace and happiness?
Who am I when the habits of a lifetime are stripped away?
Who am I beyond the persona I’ve presented to the world and to myself? Who am I, bare?
My friends, let’s grow up. Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here. Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice. Look: Everything that can be lost, will be lost.It’s simple—how could we have missed it for so long? Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings, But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.
“the keys to longevity are diet, exercise, finding a purpose in life (an ikigai), and forming strong social ties—that is, having a broad circle of friends and good family relations.”
Living our life fully and deeply requires courage. If we cannot be happy, right here and right now, we need to ask ourselves why. If we’re having difficulty touching peace and the wonders of the cosmos in our daily life, there must be something getting in the way. We need to find out what it is. What’s weighing us down or pulling us away from the present moment? Continue reading
WE NOW ASK YOU TO SEE BEFORE YOU A LADDER. AND it is a wooden ladder and it is very, very straight. And you stand at the base of the ladder and you look up and you cannot see the top of the ladder because it goes so high into the clouds. And we ask you now to place your hands on the rungs of the ladder. And you feel them in your hands as wood, as smooth, as solid, and as supporting you clearly and capably in their firmness. And you put one hand above the other and you begin to rise up the ladder, one rung at a time. And as you do, your frequency begins to lift and you begin to move higher and higher in frequency as you rise up on this ladder in energy.