But Now I Look Forward to Life
“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
– Norman Cousins
My relationship with death has always been interesting. To be honest, I’m fascinated by it. To be even more truthful, I used to look forward to it.
I used to look forward to it because I hated life. Death was not something I wished for, and I would never do anything to make it happen, but the bad days used to far outweigh the good ones. And no longer having to deal with the burdens of life was a positive.
Like the quote above, I was dead inside. (Maybe that’s why I like zombies so much?) I made it through the day-to-day motions of work and life. I still took care of my obligations and tried to be the best parent I could be.
I was alive, but I wasn’t living.
If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I struggled with depression and anxiety in the past. My thoughts on life were tainted by my mental health. But I also did nothing to conquer those thoughts. I sat by and watched as my life spiraled down.
I allowed my thoughts to control me. I allowed everything in my life to get the best of me. And it made me think death was something to look forward to.
“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”
– Marcus Aurelius
I didn’t change my thinking because I’m now afraid of death. I changed because I’m afraid of no longer existing. Because now I understand what it means to live.
Existence is all I know. I’ve never known not existing. I don’t remember the time before being born so that is what I imagine death will be like. Nothingness. Which I can’t seem to understand.
And as I type this, I realize I’m not really looking for answers, but I’m learning about myself and this thing we call life. I’m learning about living instead of dying. Living instead of existing.
Because now I look forward to life–to living.
Death is still on my mind as I’m getting older, but it is not something which consumes my thoughts. In fact, the opposite has occurred.
I now am consumed by living the best life I can. I am passionate about sharing with others how they can live and not just exist. Because many of us are going through the daily motions and are dying a little inside each day. But this is no way to live your one and only life.
I get it, believe me. I’ve been low as low can be. And it doesn’t matter if others may have it worse than you, your problems are still relevant. Those problems mean everything when you are depressed or when you are struggling.
That is the experience of life. It can get worse before it gets better. Life is a battle at times.
But it is a battle that can be won.
Problems, no matter what they are, pass–as long as you are willing to act to solve those problems. Some may solve themselves, but many need to be faced head-on. Without action, most of your problems will remain.
“I would rather die a meaningful death than to live a meaningless life.”
– Corazon Aquino
Life is not always going to be good. It reminds me of the ocean. It is sometimes violent and sometimes calm. Like the tides, there are highs and lows. If you don’t stay afloat, life will take you under.
But like life gets worse, it can also get better. It does get better.
So find something which will help you ride the waves. Find what brings you to life and gives you joy. Find yourself.
Because to conquer life, you have to conquer yourself. Finding yourself and what this life means to you is important. It changed me looking forward to life instead of death.
And you can change your life too.
But you have to act to get the life you want. Whatever in your life is causing you problems, it needs to be fixed. It needs to be changed.
Because once you realize life is something to look forward to, death no longer compares.