“The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.”
If you don’t know someone personally who experienced this, I’m sure you’ve heard tales of people who were given a medical prognosis suggesting they have only three months to live. Oddly enough, many of these tales include some element of surprising joy and appreciation of life.
None of us would wish such a prognosis on someone, yet many of us have learned a valuable lesson from the experiences described by those who have walked this path. They speak of joy that seems to emanate from a sudden increase in their appreciation of the simple things in life that we typically ignore because of our constant pursuit of what’s coming next.
Humans are driven by the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. All of our motivation comes from those polarized drives. We want more pleasure, and we want to escape from pain.
Our efforts to get more pleasure and avoid pain drive our minds to dwell in the future. Oddly enough, the experiences of those with a short time to live suggest we are looking in the wrong place. Rather than looking to the future, their experiences suggest we can find the greatest joy by bringing our attention fully to what we have .
It is not easy to turn off the longing for other circumstances, or some moment in the future when we will finally be relieved of some gnawing emotional or physical pain. Being told you have only a short time to live makes it easier though. Near-death experiences also make it easier.
Sometimes the feeling that we have hit the bottom of the barrel can evoke a release, a change in perspective that allows us to stop the insane pursuit of some future moment and instead fully embrace life as we find it right now, unfolding around us with all of its mystery.
A woman who stands bleeding beside the car that was thrown into a ditch may not be focused on the inconvenience of having several lacerations and blood all over her favorite shirt. Instead, she may find herself marveling at the chance to live, the chance that was given to her to escape from death. Those who are faced with the possibility of losing everything are able to love life more deeply and richly because they are faced with that possibility.
Fully appreciating life means you see it more clearly. The foggy visions of the future and past generated in your mind’s eye are no longer the focus of your attention. Instead, you see and experience the joyful miracle of life unfolding. If you bring this kind of awareness, this special attention to the art of loving life, you will not regret it.
If you want to be a fantastic lover, love your man by fully appreciating each moment with him the way you would if he was going to be pulled away from you in a few short days. Love him the way your instincts would tell you to love him if there was no chance the relationship could become anything short of true-love in the moments you have left with him.
Living life tomorrow is not guaranteed, and highly valuing the present moment, brings a special quality to your presence. Others will sense it. You will seem less distracted, more alive. When others experience you as “full of life,” they will naturally be more attracted to you.
Am I being naive? I don’t think so. I understand the suffering and pain people face in this life, and I do not think we are turning a blind eye by embracing joy that can be found in the present moment. The more horrendous things are, the more we need to embrace the luminous beauty of joy that can be found shining in the hearts of those who choose to love without fear.
If you know what I’m talking about, leave a comment or a story below. Your story might “click” in someone’s mind in a way my article did not.