Time for a Spiritual Spring Cleaning

The question I pose is this: if you knew you were going to die next week, would you do what you are doing today? Do you have a longing for choices that are outside of your daily and weekly routines? Do you live with regret over things that you could easily change, but have ignored out of laziness, fear, or doubt? At some level you probably realize that no one can make choices for you or save you from indecision. You alone are responsible for your choices and lack of choices. This might seem a burden at first, but should more correctly be considered a gift because it means that you can have a better reality if you choose to make better decisions. Life is really that easy.

For most people, the end always comes sooner than expected because mortality is not a consideration that is taken seriously or realistically. Anything can happen at any time and life is truly more open than most people will admit. Despite the safety of routines, nature's energy is derived from her chaos, not from the regularity imposed upon chaos. Both are needed for growth, as chaos by itself is little more than random waves of energy, while order by itself is merely a stagnant framework. As humans, we are assemblers that negotiate the reality formed between the two, making us part of the eternal symbiotic relationship between order and chaos.

This always subjects us to the possibility of a physical death, though that is not nearly as terrible as the regret that we are capable of suffering over prolonged periods, even throughout the remainder of our lives. What few people consider is that the most difficult regret comes as the final reflection of our personal consciousness when all denial is overcome and we are honest with ourselves about what life really was. Consider how disappointing it is to die knowing that you let the best possibilities of life slip through your fingers.

Regret is sometimes the most honest voice we know. We dream of our past and think of the future we could have had. It seems that we have somehow lost that dream and our most honest voice tells us we should have acted differently. Often it is not too late, though we are too stubborn or too afraid to take action to do what we know will bring us lasting fulfillment. A few small choices can change the world, but too often we choose the safe nothing to stave off the emergence of new paths.

Think of this as a call for a spiritual spring cleaning. Winter came and made you hide away in protective shelter, but it also distanced you from life. Spring is here and now it's time to live again, which means aspiring in the open instead of resting comfortably inside.

Face yourself in the mirror and accept that if you do nothing then nothing will happen. In other words, a routine introduces no new energy into a system, so that system will eventually come to a stop with you trapped inside. Ask yourself the hardest questions about where your path is going and what you really wish to do with your life. Avoid the lure of compromise which is certain to give you only what you don't want. Listen instead to your own voice, not the voice of others who might want you to make them happy at your expense.

Surely your hands are every bit as capable as you remember them to be. If you have dreams and hopes that haunt you, resolve to pursue them with action so you will not have to harbor the increasing regret that comes from not trying.

Anything in the world could be yours -- if you decide you want it.

April 20, 2001