On the Finitude of Life

A friend of a friend died today. She was only in her 40s, and cancer took her away in fifteen days.

So, today I want to write about the finitude of life. Or, at least about the finitude of our personal lives.

We all know our days have a limit, but we forget about that fact all the time. Or maybe we just don’t want to contemplate the reality of death. It creates certain anxiety inside us, doesn’t it?

But trying to avoid that anxiety is like hiding our heads in the sand like an ostrich. What point is there in avoidance tactics?

Trying to avoid whatever makes us feel anxious is usually not a good strategy, especially when what produces that anxiety is a fact that we cannot change or avoid.

In those cases, it’s better to look at it right in the face. Breathe. Stay in touch with how you feel and then reverse those feelings.

Remember how we talked about stories the other day? When you’re anxious about something, you need to remember to change your story to change your feelings.

What story will make you feel excited instead of anxious?

In my case, what helps me is asking myself the following question:

When I’m at the end of my life and look back on my whole existence on this planet, what would I regret?

I don’t ask myself what I would be proud of, I ask myself about what I would regret.

What would I regret not having done?

What would I regret not having said?

What attitude would I wish I had had with this person, project, or generally in life?

I’m talking about how to think about what you have omitted from your life.

What are you omitting from your life right now?

Just think about that ONE thing that will make you feel better at the end of your life.

If you don’t know it right now, sit quietly for a few minutes and give it some time; it will show up.

Then, put it into practice without delay and notice how life suddenly feels much more lighthearted.