It’s Always Our Choice.

“They’re falling all around us.”

A friend of more than 40 years and I were comparing notes the other day about friends of our “vintage” who either had made their transitions recently or were facing seemingly life-threatening physical challenges, and that was her way of expressing what is becoming one of the facts of life for us at this point in our journeys.

We all know life is fragile and that any day could be our last, but for much of our lives we find it easy to ignore (or maybe even try to deny) that reality.

But the calls or e-mails that are becoming more frequent – about a friend in apparently excellent health who died in the night, or another who was gone three weeks after being diagnosed with stomach cancer, or another who just had a malignant tumor removed from his brain – are impossible to ignore.

I even find myself reading the obituaries nearly every day (now that would be a good topic for a blog post sometime!) to see how many of them are about people who were younger than I.

On what seems like a pretty regular basis, the voice speaking through the material I still receive and write down regularly talks about living each day as if we knew it were our last. Here’s an excerpt from a writing that came through in 2007:

Simply allow the flow to happen. No resistance, no effort, no strain. Release the struggle. If you knew that this were your last day, how would you approach it? You would know there were not alternatives – that any struggle would be pure futility. And you would surrender peacefully, with joy and love for others.

Live each day that way. Live, love, laugh and be happy. For this could well be your last. You feel comfortable with how you would react if you knew with certainty that it were. Why should you live any differently in the uncertainty? That the last day will come is certain. Live as if this were it.

We have talked before about the parallel between the ultimate surrender of letting go when it is time to move on to the next level, and the moment-to-moment surrender that is your goal and desire. They are, in fact, one and the same.

We have a choice about how we live each day. We don’t always choose what will happen in our lives on a daily basis, but it is always our choice how we decide to react to those developments.

When I was 15, my Dad walked out the door to go get his hair cut, and he never came back. He made his transition sitting in a barber ship.

For much of my life, I was convinced that was the way to go – no muss, no fuss, no suffering. But 20 years of hospice work changed that perspective completely.

I believe being given a terminal diagnosis is a gift that allows us time to come to terms with our own departure, to wrap up life’s details, and to say goodbye to folks who are important to us and tell them we love them.

But we don’t have a choice about how and when our journey will end. When that moment comes, we have no alternative but to surrender.

So why not let go of our struggles now and make the commitment to ourselves, and to the Universe, that we will live this day, and all the rest that we have left, from the perspective of who we really are – spiritual beings experiencing a journey in the physical world as beautiful, unique, individualized expressions of God’s goodness?

It’s always our choice.

One Response to “It’s Always Our Choice.”

  1. Rick says:

    Wow. This was really deep and meaningful to me. I have always felt death to just be a gift in disguise for many, especially those suffering physical ailments.

    Thank you for those inspirational words. j2c :)

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  • Welcome

    About Jack Armstrong

    Welcome to my blog. I’m glad you’re here, and I’m excited about being able to visit with you in this way.

    The musings about life and spirituality that I’ll be sharing with you will be from the perspective of a 73-year-old guy who spent most of his life trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up ― and finally got it.

    You can find out about my books, including Lessons from the Source, on the Store page here on this website, but this blog is a place for sharing thoughts and ideas.

    We’re all on the spiritual path together, and we all have insights and perspectives to share with each other. My hope is that some of mine will be helpful and thought provoking for you.

    Thanks for visiting. Many blessings.

    Jack Armstrong

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