By Rita Riera Pastallé
We could die tomorrow ’Live today as if you’ll die tomorrow’, is a phrase I’ve heard many times. I always thought it was a superficial self-help motto.
I told myself life is much more complicated, but yesterday I realized it might not be. Dave Pearl came to SCA and took us on a Wisdom Walk. I really enjoyed it.
Afterwards, he gave us a talk which changed the way I see life.
He told us a story of a time he was on a packed bus, with the grim texture of rain-sodden floors and the evasive smell of sweaty human bodies. His tall frame pressing his head against a damp bus ceiling.
He didn’t want to be there.
As his mind wandered, he came upon a thought: “If you were dead and were able to return to life, if just for a minute, even in those uncomfortable circumstances, you definitely would.”
At first, I disagreed.
I imagined he wanted to live for that minute out of generic mortal fear. In my opinion a minute of uncomfortable life is worthless. It was simply fear of the void.
But his reasoning surprised me.
In fact, it inspired me.
He said if he could take that moment he would.
And that mundane uncomfortable moment would be the most intense minute of his existence. He would see people, life and smells on another level. He could give value to absolutely everything.
The experience would teach him to love the smell of sweat. To love the noise of the traffic and and the chattering. To love the pressure of people crushing against him and his head awkwardly pressing against the bus ceiling.
In that moment it felt like my heart stopped. What I had first thought was out of fear turned out to be out of a brave zest for life and trying to see the beauty in everything. Pushing yourself to live more deeply, with more intensity and no fear of feeling.
After Dave finished his story I was convinced. I wanted every minute to be like that. To live life fully.
“Live today as if you’ll die tomorrow.” That meaningless sentence I’ve heard a thousand times suddenly became meaningful to me.
I’m done with being anywhere else but present. The past doesn’t matter and the future doesn’t exist.
Thinking this way makes me realize what matters to me. What makes me happy right now and where I want to be.
I don’t know what will matter tomorrow but I think I’m going to enjoy that shitty bus ride home.