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One month to live |


One month to live

JUST BETWEEN YOU & ME - Jacquilou Blanco -

What would you do if you had one month to live? Maybe everything you hadn’t done before. Settle unfinished matters. Spend more time with your loved ones or say sorry to anyone you have wronged. I am sure you would spend every moment living your life in the most meaningful way.

I would like to share with you some of the valuable lessons I am learning from the book One Month to Live, Thirty Days To A No-Regrets Life by Kerry and Chris Shook.

It is my wish that we start the year with a passion and zest for our lives and not wasting a single moment. Living it to the fullest and living it as if we had only one month to live.

I am still in the process of reading it and so I will share my thoughts and feelings on the chapters I have already browsed.

Living the Dash:

Death is more universal than life; everyone dies but not everyone lives. —Alan Sachs

This dash is also what Tita Letty Jacinto-Lopez talks about in her book Purple Shades.

How do you intend to live your dash? How will you live your life? This is what Kerry and Chris talk about in the introduction of their book.

Our time on earth is limited. No matter if we don’t like to think of it that way, this is the reality. Our days are numbered. Each one that passes is gone forever.

We don’t have control over many things in our life. We don’t get to choose what gender we will be, who are parents will be, when we are born or how long we get to live. However, there is one thing we can control. We get to decide how we want to spend our lives here on earth.

There are four universal principles that they talk about in the book — To live passionately; to love completely; to learn humbly; and to leave boldly. I will share with you some of what I have learned from the first principle “To live passionately.”

Live Passionately: Roller Coaster

Pope Paul VI said, “Somebody should tell us, right from the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it I say! Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”

Our life is one roller coaster. Sometimes we get to ride the big ones, with many loops and turns, and sometimes we get to go on the smaller less turny ones. Which would you prefer? The more exciting ride or the more steady but safer one?

The Shooks go on to say that often, we are tempted to play it safe and settle for far less than we were made for.

A lot of people’s favorite day is “Someday.” Someday I’m going to go for all life has to offer. Someday I’ll spend more time with my family. Someday when I retire I will enjoy my life. Someday. One day. When? If. Then it’s over.

Someday should be Today. Right now. Right here. We never know if we will still have tomorrow or next week or next month or even the next second. We must do what we can today, now, right this minute. Make every moment count.

God did not create us to just stand by and watch life wondering why we aren’t fulfilled. God created us to take risks, have faith and conquer the boulders in our lives.

We can’t always live our lives taking the same turns, the same routes. That would be boring. We need to take the risk of taking a different turn, a different path. God has promised to give us an abundant life but we need to trust Him as He takes us through the bigger rides in our lives. We need to open our hearts, making it ready for so many blessings He has set out for us.

Now that I am in my forties, I am making a decision to not play it safe all the time. To not be content with the way things are just because they are okay. Things can still be better. I want to push myself outside my comfort zone. To be more out there. To open myself to other possibilities and walk on roads I’ve never walked on. To find out what is still out there for me. We need to realize how big a God we have. We need to know that whatever road we choose, He will be there waiting at the very end. I would not want to continue living a life less abundant than what He has set out for me. I want to live my life not focusing on the difficulties I may face, but on God.

Time Squared — Spending your most valuable resource

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.

We only have 24 hours in a day. There is nothing we can do to increase that. How we invest those hours can determine the difference between a sense of contentment because you did exactly what you were made for or a sense of regret. If we want to live a life regretting nothing, we need to see how we have been spending our time.

Are we too busy with work that we can’t even ask our children how their day went? Too busy to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with a loved one?

We all have countless responsibilities. Earning a living for our families, putting our siblings to school, paying for debts and so on, but just as important as these is having time for rest. Downtime. Time to spend with our loved ones. Time to be still. Time to talk to God. Time to just be.

So often we do have a lot of time, but we waste it on what is not important. With things that will not last.

I am one who always tries to make myself available to my children. They are my priority. When I am long gone, what I want my children to remember are all those moments we shared. The conversations we had on the way to school , the “What will I wear for the party?” The “What do I say to my friend who is upset?” The “Mom, you’re so corny.” The stories from classmates I don’t know and yet it’s as if I do because of what they share. These are the moments that count. These are the moments that will last long after we are gone. These are what I will forever carry in my heart and I know they will carry in theirs, too.

Power Surge — Connecting to the Ultimate Source

Saint Augustine said: You formed us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.

To live the life we were made for completely depends on power. The problem is we often think we can make the necessary changes with a little willpower. We do not see how dependent we are on God’s power.

In order to change and sustain those changes, we need to be connected to a power source beyond ourselves. A power source that never flickers or leaves us in the dark. That real power comes from our creator, God.

How do we get and stay constantly connected to Him? Prayer, which is simply talking to God. Let us always start our day by talking to Him. And mind you, you can talk to Him the whole day. He loves that! You don’t need a quiet place or a formal tone with Him. You can talk to Him however you want. I tell Him everything even if I know He already knows. Complain. Get angry. Get frustrated. Cry your heart out. That is Praying. That is how we get and remain constantly connected to God. If we make mistakes, we admit them to Him. He loves that we take responsibility for failing. His love is big enough for all our failures.

We also need to realize it is useless to rely on our willpower because it is not constant. God’s power is. We need to allow Him to take care of our problems and worries. In a book I read, it said, “Our problems are not ours but God’s. It is His responsibility. Ours is simply to believe He will get us through. How loved we are by Him.”

* * *

These are just some of the awesome truths that I have learned, discovered and rediscovered from reading the book.

More and more each day I know that for my life to truly matter, I need to live it with zest. I need to make every moment count. Spend moments with my loved ones that will forever remain in their lives and mine. And for all these to happen, I need to continue trusting completely in my Father in Heaven, whose power and love will allow me to accomplish all these. A father who has never failed and will never fail me. A father who has promised an abundant life for me. A beautiful life He has set out for me.

Let us reflect on how we are living our dash, how we are spending the moments in our lives.

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