photo by Kristen Conway
It takes time to settle into a concept for the day. I struggle to choose one word or idea when there are so many possibilities. I wait for the right idea to land deep in my being and know what needs to be expressed. Then I begin writing. The process goes a little like this…….
While pondering U the first word that resonated was, understand. Understanding oneself and others is hard work to get a glimmer of understanding of our self. True understanding requires an inquiry of integrity so threatening most of us avoid what we uncover through the search.
The next idea was up. The direction. Up is where most of us want to go. Six feet under is the phrase for the end. Then I started to think about going inward and truthfully, that has more relevance than up. I let go of up.
Us came next. You and me. Not only you and not only me, us, together. It’s full of possibility. I thought of the Margaret Mead quote, ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.’ That had potential but didn’t go anywhere, so it fell by the wayside as well.
What finally settled was use. The way we choose to use ourselves is the key to our freedom. We must be conscious enough to make a choice. In the book Die Empty, Todd Henry talks about the graveyard as being the most valuable land on earth. It’s where all of our unrealized and unfulfilled dreams die and are buried. The idea of dying empty and using up all of our selves to create a life we are inspired by living is thrilling. It’s a choice we can and must make. How do we want to use our selves, our time and our gifts?
After watching my Mom die last summer, and turning 60 shortly after, I committed to dying empty. I now know deep in my bones I have a finite time here. Life doesn’t last forever. As the saying goes, ‘Don’t rust out, burn out.’ I intend to use everything up and never, ever let anything die within me unexpressed. I want to give it all away so my grave has no value and is filled with only emptiness. I will pour all my life and love into any crack and crevice I can find. I will use every last bit of my self up until I am completely empty and totally spent and fall into my grave free.
If you want to use your self to create a life that thrills you choose to create moments worth living today. Use your voice as a force for good and your heart to help others learn to love themselves. Use your hands to create beauty and your time to experience the presence of compassion and love. Open your being and allow the life force within you to spill out and make your self known. Use your self in a such a way that empties and fills you at the same time. You are here for such a short time. Give your self away and use your living to fill you with passion and purpose. Use all of your self up and never let anything of value be buried inside of you again.