An elder family member slipped and fell off a curb a week ago and shattered her shoulder and wrist. It sent us all in a panic. We've all heard one too many stories of older relatives or family friends falling which is the unspoken beginnings of a long or slow decline.
She had surgery yesterday and it seems she's doing ok, considering her age, but nothing is conclusive until she's actually regained movement in her arms. This is just the first step of many, including weeks of pain, months of physical therapy and relying on other people for the simplest things such as preparing a meal or even taking a bath.
Life truly does come full circle. (Almost) everything you used to do for your child, they now do for you (if you're lucky enough to have them around). I can only imagine how humbling and terrifying it might be when you get to a certain age, especially if you don't prepare well for it.
Growing old alone is another story. I can't imagine anything more lonely.
BUT, seeing this happen to my elders opens up my eyes to the things I need to prioritize in my own life, right now, while I'm still several years away from physical decline.
Life isn't all about work. It's not all about the next business venture.
It's about people.
It's about relationships that need to be nurtured rather than ignored.
It's about conversations that can be more meaningful if we just shift gears and pause and listen, instead of giving in to the usual urge of wanting to be heard.
It's about spending time doing things that nourish your soul, whether it's a few laughs from a good book, chatting with an old friend, digging your hands into the earth tending to your garden, or a simple quiet walk in nature.
It's about learning to listen to your body and understanding how to honor it by nourishing it better.
It's about learning how to appreciate stillness.
It's realizing that life isn't really a race. It's an absolutely beautiful journey. A gift we have the pleasure to navigate, explore, play in, experience love and learn profound lessons from. A journey where nothing is permanent. A game where the only constant is change and we're always surrounded by various moving pieces. And only when we get to the embrace this seeming chaos, this impermanence, do we actually win and truly become free.
Free from hurt.
Free from insecurities.
Free from longing.
Free from wanting.
Free from endless dissatisfaction.
Free from feeling misunderstood.
Free from jealousy.
Free from limiting beliefs.
Free from attachment.
Free from scarcity.
Free from hate.
Free from losing hope.
Free from the shackles that have all along been merely figments of our imagination.
Every morning when you wake up, I invite you to do:
1. Something fearless.
2. Something fun.
3. Something that's outside of what you'd normally do.
And let's see.
One, there's a chance nothing happens (though I doubt it).
Two, there's a chance your circumstances might improve.
And three, there's a chance you just took a baby step to change the tangent of your future.
Take a risk. There really is nothing to lose.
It's just a game after all.
Written by Lillian Too's Mandala Member, Marge