A question from one of my facebook friends sparked an internal questioning. He asked “What would you do if you found out you only had thirty days to live?” My answer “exactly the things I’m already moving into now, only I’d dive in deeper,” gave me some mental noms. “Well, if that’s what I’d do with a mere thirty days left on this earth, why wait ’til then? Why not do it now? What am I waiting for? To REALLY be told I have only thirty days left?”
Honestly, I feel like I’ve died a thousand deaths already and will likely die a thousand more before my body ever kisses the grave. I tend to agree with St. Francis of Assisi, that dying the first time is the hardest and reaching that final death is no big deal afterwards. So many saints and mystics speak of going through a dark night of the soul. We tend to hear the tales and think we are somehow spared because we haven’t devoted our lives to the Divine like they did; besides, they’re SAINTS! OF COURSE they went through that stuff…. and came out better! We’re just ordinary folks. Why would such a thing bother with us when all we want is to get through the day/the week/life? But what if there’s no such thing as “ordinary folk”? From my observations over the years, there definitely aren’t. Just loads of people who think they’re ordinary. And each one of them is of great interest to the Divine. Hooray and bummer!
It’s a very good thing that the Divine takes such personal interest in each of us. It’s good to know that whatever we face – good, bad, etc. – doesn’t have to be faced alone. We always have someone to celebrate with, a shoulder to cry on, a lap to crawl into. And in spite of all the human-created blah-blah, the Divine really isn’t judging any of us. True, it is difficult to be in the presence of Divine Perfection and not recognize how shabby, unkempt and badly in need of a makeover you are no matter how gentle and compassionate a life you’ve lived. We always know we can do better than we have done, we’ve fallen far short of our own expectations and somehow we thoroughly expect the Divine to agree with us. Well, hooray, It does but It really doesn’t care a fig about that stuff. The Divine has seen you at your best, your worst and all the stops in between and STILL wants to hang out with you, still wants very much to be included in your life. But there is a catch.
“HA! I KNEW it!” you shout triumphantly. It’s not what you think. Like any relationship, you rub off on each other. When you’re hanging with the Beloved, the rubbing only goes one way. The Divine is absolute Perfect Love, we are not. The Divine knows us quite well already, better than we know ourselves. We are not so fortunate. We’ve preferred making up lovely (or not) stories in our heads about what the Divine is or isn’t, what It does or doesn’t like, etc., etc., etc. And we call these lovely tales “Truth”. Oh, we make a lot of fuss over our “Truths” too. Start entire wars and generations-long hatreds around them. We ask each other time after time what is “The Truth” concerning the Divine and we get answers, but rarely The Truth we’re looking for. Because the One Person we could easily ask to tell us is the One Person we never think to ask. That would require a dfferent sort of asking and a different sort of listening for the answers. That requires a willingness to be in relationship with Someone you can’t readily see, especially not with the eyes or grasp with all the logics of the mind, but will certainly, eagerly show Themselves to you. You must come to know and love Them with your heart.
So in answer to my friend’s question, I would live more deeply as I do now, go all in, nothing left to lose. Which makes me wonder if what I think I have to lose is really worth hanging on to? Why not live every day as though it were my last? I’m certainly not impressing the Divine by living out of alignment. I’m not proving to anyone that matters that I can be cautious, measured, careful, that I know how to take things slowly. These ideas are serving me not at all. I’ve found the Love of my life and I’m doing no one any favors dipping my toes in water I dearly desire to dive head first into and drown in. What if I only had thirty days left to live? What if Love was calling me to be rash, foolish and just dive in? What if…?