How many of us will leave our lives with a full heart? An immediate thought when I woke up one morning about a month ago in my rented home in Los Angeles. And a thought up til now I've only shared with one friend over email. Quite deep and soul baring but I think a reflective thought to give to the New Year and for the rest of our lives. I was hesitant writing about this as I feel that the majority of us are raised to not talk about our mortality. There's a great stigma that surrounds the idea of it - to the point so many are frightened.
Screw it. I think about this so much. I view most things in life with optimism - this is no different. I'd rather share it than let it sit in my computer.
When considering our own mortality, I think we can find some interesting insights. When someone calls "Full Time" on us, will we have lived our lives the way we wanted to? Will our hearts be filled with joy?
These thoughts occupy my mind so often because in life I've been constantly reminded of of life and death. As I write this, being in London, my father's passing here weeks after I was born sits with me. Naturally moreso than being in other parts of the world.
It's painful for my family to talk about him so I'm often left with imagining what his life was like and what he thought on his last days. Similarly like so many of you reading this I've had to say "see you next time" to family and friends due to illness or accidents.
Rather than dwelling in deep grief for the people we've loved so much (and still do) or fear the inevitable (which is natural) I think we can be much kinder to ourselves. Can we celebrate more and grieve less? Can we do away with fear and have such a zest for life that we can say "Peace Out!" with all the strength that remains within us?
For me, I want my heart to be full at least the majority of the time. Especially when I lay my head down at night. With this idea I live each day with the intention of doing what makes me satisfied. I've come to simply discover what makes me get up every morning. And that is a life of curiosity and generosity.
I love learning and discovering - so at any opportunity I'll be "away" listening to music, reading, traveling within my own city, be in nature or head to far flung places. My heart is full from conversations with family, friends and strangers, sharing ideas, creating from ideas and crafting a life and therefore a career based on everything I love.
I'll leave you with this; a song released by Alicia Keys on her latest album Girl On Fire. The song is called "When It's All Over". This is the first time I've noticed Alicia acknowledging her mortality in such a reflective manner and with that, the love that she has for her 2 year old son.
Take a listen til at least 1 minute 40. Alongside the beautiful production are these lyrics:
When they lay me down
Put my soul to rest
When they ask me how
I spent my life
At least I got to love you
When it's all over
When it's all said and done
Here's to a fulfilling 2013. And a fulfilling life.
Thank you for reading and allowing me to bear a little more beyond the layers.
Image Credit: A commissioned image by Melbourne street artist Ghost Patrol, owned by me, Unnamed, 2012