We are both living and dying.
Please discuss. How does this play out in life?
I’ll start us out We tend to think of life and death as an on/off switch. We’re alive…until we die. In reality, we are like Schrödinger’s cat, both alive and dead at the same time.
Cells in our bodies are in a continuous process of renewal, with older cells dying to make way for new ones. Our minds also store new memories and experiences, often prioritizing them over ones from our more distant past. As our bodies age, this renewal process does slow and one day it will stop. In the meantime, we are both living and dying.
While our spirits are embodied, there are days we feel more alive than others. Certainly this can relate to the state of our physical health; on days we are physically full of juice and energetic, it’s easier to pursue our activities with zest. Our physical state definitely feeds into our mental and emotional states.
The reverse if also true. When we are consumed by mental or emotional burdens, our bodies feel heavy and stagnant, too. If we allow longer-term concerns to weigh us down, we and our joie de vie die a little bit. We kill our capacity for happiness in the moment by worrying and fretting.
Today’s message comes to me courtesy of my cat, Orion, who is in the slow process of kidney failure. He reminded me, during an intense and prolonged morning bed cuddle, that now is all we are assured. When I lean into or snuggle what currently is with my complete attention, in that moment I am fully alive. I don’t have complete control over when and how I die, but I do have the choice to be as alive as possible in each and every minute. Carpe diem!
How about you? What’s your relationship to life and death?