The problem with life is we think we have more time…
Last night was an amazing night in Hollywood… MJ and I walked to the Hollywood Bowl for the concert of the year. Maroon 5, Sam Smith, The Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Calvin Harris and others played to celebrate the message “We Can Survive”. An important message for everyone living with cancer.
17,000 people danced and sang under a full Southern California moon. The excitement and hope the performers brought to the stage gave every person in the crowd a sense or immortality. It was a night to remember!
On the walk home, we saw it…. Just beyond the yellow police tape that blocked Franklin Avenue and the entrance to our building were the remnants of a BMW and Cadillac, so damaged it was impossible to distinguish the make and models of the cars. I’ve never seen anything like it. Nothing survived the impact…. not the BMW… not the Cadillac nor anyone in them. Twenty minutes earlier, these people were on their feet dancing and singing about “survival”, now they’re gone. They didn’t survive the ride home.
All Night. I wondered if there was anything they left unsaid or undone in their lives… had they said “I’m sorry” or “I appreciate you” or “I love you” to the people in their lives? Was there anything left undone by the people that loved them? Did they wait too long and just never got around to saying what was deep inside their hearts?
Lori Deschene is the creator of a spiritual website and I believe is finding a better meaning in life by living in the moment. She asks the same questions I do and seems to be finding answers in her life by looking within instead of around her. I think she’s right.
Most of us are really good at finding reasons to wait. We wait to call good friends we miss because we assume we’ll have plenty of time. We wait to tell people how we really feel because we hope it will someday feel safer. We wait to forgive the people who’ve hurt us because we believe they should reach out first.
We wait to apologize for the things we’ve done because we feel too stubborn or ashamed to admit fault. If we’re not careful, we can spend our whole lives making excuses, holding off until a better time, only to eventually realize that time never came.
It sounds morbid to acknowledge that our days here limited, and it’s scary to realize that none of us can ever know how many we have. But we can know that in our final moments, it’s unlikely we’ll say, “I wish I waited longer,” or “I wish I stayed angry longer,” or “I wish I played it safe longer.” Most of us will get to the end of our lives and say, “I’m sorry.” “I forgive you.” Or, “I love you.”
Of course, there’s another option: We can say those things right now.
We can appreciate the people we love in action instead of distracting ourselves with everyday worries. We can be brave in expressing our thoughts and feelings instead of over-analyzing and talking ourselves out of it. We can decide for ourselves what truly matters and honor it while we have the chance.
This is our chance to live and love. This moment is our only guaranteed opportunity to be thoughtful, compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and kind to the people we value.
It might be terrifying. It might require humility. It might seem like it’s not a priority. We owe it to ourselves to acknowledge it is, and to do something about it instead of building up reasons to regret.
This morning, I called my parents and thanked them for never giving up on me… I called my kids and told them I loved them and respected their choices in life. I called my friend Anita and thanked her for keeping me alive until I could get help. I called Manny Rodriguez of La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center and let him know I love him and how his life is an example for anyone in recovery. Lastly, I told MJ how much he means to me.
What have you been meaning to do or say—and what are you waiting for? This is my journey… this is my life!