You know that song, right? The Flaming Lips singing “Do You Realize?”
Do you realize?
That everyone you know someday will die.
The other day in the bathtub, (where I have many of my most profound revelations, might I add), I realized that not only will everyone I know, everyone I love, die, but everything I gain in my life, I will lose. Through tears and wild laughter, I stumbled upon one of life’s cosmic jokes: We spend much of our life energy focusing on gaining – getting a partner, a dream job, a home, a family, success, happiness, ambition, striving, to get, to get, to get. To fill ourselves up with our wildest dreams, if we can be so lucky. But what we often forget, is that everything we gain we will at some point lose. Whether during our lives or once we leave our bodies, every single thing, every single person, even what we hold nearest to our hearts, will one day die.
It struck me in relationship to my new home. I finally found a perfect, wooden yurt to live in on incredibly rich, ceremonial land. I can hardly believe how lucky I am to come across something I’ve only considered in my dreams. And the day that I found out it could be mine was coincidentally the day that an unconscious thought became conscious. I realized that in the midst of celebrating this acquisition, my immediate next thought was that I never, ever wanted to leave it. And I realized how painful the thought was of losing something so precious, something that I’ve craved for so long. And remembering that of course I’d one day leave it, or it would leave me, because that’s how life goes, always changing, everything impermanent. It hit me: Life is just an accumulation of gains and losses, of births and deaths and births. When we finally do get what we want, what we’ve worked for or wished for or both, we often forget that now we have something very precious to lose. And that we will eventually lose it.
So what do we do with this incredibly depressing, transient, yet inarguable, reality?
We go on living.
Remembering the preciousness of what we have right now.
And instead of saying all of your goodbyes
Let them know you realize that life goes fast
It’s hard to make the good things last
You realize the sun doesn’t go down
It’s just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
What can we do?
Will we not love knowing that those whom we will love will die?
Do we not create knowing that all that we create will be destroyed?
Of course not!
Though it can seem tempting… Ah, I’ve woken to many mornings considering the absurdity of this paradoxical life. And what I’ve come to realize is that I cannot make sense of it, no, the best I can do is merely experience it. Let myself be chewed up and spit out and chewed up again. Throw myself head first into this nutty, precious, and incredibly heartbreaking experience. What have I got to lose? Everything I suppose… I’ve got everything to lose either way. So, might as well love as best and as thoroughly as I can.