Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ready or Not

I was lying awake a few nights ago during that time between waking and sleeping when one's brain is on idle, but the engine is still running. I suddenly realized that the game of Hide and Seek is a metaphor for life. Not the game itself, just the part where the seeker says, "Ready or Not," just before coming after you to see if you are truly well hidden.

Life is like that. Babies probably aren't ready to be born and no parent feels truly ready for the birth of the baby, but it all happens anyway, Ready or Not.

Most of our life is like that. We rarely feel truly ready for anything, but somehow we manage to swallow our fears and take the next step, jump off the high dive, get behind the wheel for the first time, step out on stage and sing, all the while hoping for the best and praying we don't fall flat on our faces or make a terrible mess of things.

As is life, so is death. Ready or Not, it comes to us. Some people have the good luck to see death coming for them from afar with time to pack their spiritual bags for departure; others are caught mid step, disbelieving that they are not still there on the sidewalk on their way to work.

The best way to deal with death is to accept it as inevitable. Only then are you free to live.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. --Mark Twain
Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live. --Henry Van Dyke

To live in fear of death is to live in fear. Who wants to live in fear? Just accept that you will die some day. Stop fighting the idea. None of us knows when it is coming for us. The best we can hope is that when it comes, we will accept it with grace as a transition, and not be one of the foolish ones wandering the earth not knowing they are dead. Just like everyone else, one day we will all get evicted from this body, Ready or Not.

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