It’s taken me decades, but I am finally making peace with death. Oh, I still wake up at 3am in a panic; stomach churning, throat constricting, horrified by the idea of ceasing to exist. But that notion makes NOW so much more important.
Thing is, when I believed in the religious (Mormon) fairytale of an afterlife, ruling my own planet forever surrounded by family and friends, I was living half asleep. I didn’t appreciate life like I do now. With the specter of death constantly looming, I feel more alive than I’ve ever felt. If death is the end, I find myself trying to find the beauty in each moment, every interaction with another human being takes on special meaning. I think harder about how my behavior affects others and I want to uplift, not cause anyone to feel badly.
THIS IS IT, motherfuckers. Right here, right now. This ain’t a drill, this ain’t a test you need to pass to get to the better thing. Who you are now is crucial. I’m not talking college degrees and jobs and money and status, I’m talking kindness and compassion and empathy and love. All the bullshit you’ve likely been taught about what makes a successful person that fires your ambition means nothing if it doesn’t contribute to kindness, love and lifting up your fellow man, or worse, if it compromises kindness, love and your fellow man.
THIS IS HEAVEN AND WE ARE GOD. Think big thoughts and enjoy every sandwich, man.
When things get really bad in my life, when I feel rage and anger and hopelessness, I look around me and take it all in and my mind is blown every, single time. The sky, stars, trees, people, animals, kindness, love… It’s magic. I get so choked up by the quiet mystery of the universe, the beautiful humanity; all of us living here together trying to raise our collective consciousness.
I email back and forth with my brother-in-law about this stuff and he wrote this:
“How very fast we would move forward/together on all fronts solving food and disease and war and energy and communication, travel throughout the universe, transportation and farming and even things like time… The most enormous, most pressing questions and problems that have vexed mankind for centuries would fall away like dominoes right down the line.”
WE are god. Always have been. One soul.
One day something like pre & post enlightenment time marker will be recognized. And our lifetimes (and all that came before us) will be viewed as the dark age that it truly was/is. A slog of war and separatism and hate and money and inequality and slavery and ego all building and evolving (super slowly) towards an inevitable enlightenment, a togetherness of purpose… SCIENCE. Unlocking the whole motherfucker.
The goal is to slowly peel back the social frameworks imposed on us from birth and figure out who you are without all the shit that was forced on you and you passively accepted as true or right. Being raised an American is like being raised in a religion. Think beyond. Strip away all the labels that make you you and other people them.
WE are god. Always have been. One soul.
The only real, true things are love, relationships, nature, science and art.
Some of us recognize this more than others and it’s our duty to lift up the lowest among us. If you see someone is struggling – they’re easy to spot with the ignorant, narrow-minded and hateful rhetoric – it is your job to uplift and inspire, if only by passive example, because we are only as good as our weakest link. Humanity. THAT should be your religion.
“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
A postscript to my friend on this day: Thank you for being you. Your gentle, easy attitude combined with your critically-thinking beautiful brain and your generosity of spirit is a daily inspiration to better myself. You know who you are.
This article was originally published on Monica’s site, The Girl Who.