To live you have to learn how to die  

AstirRelicLatah 64M
1288 posts
8/27/2006 4:27 am

Last Read:
8/31/2006 7:25 am

To live you have to learn how to die

Last night I watched the movie Tuesdays with Morrie. I’ve seen Mitch Albom speak about his experience writing the book, read the book several times and last night saw the movie for the first time….I rented it from Netflix and have had it in my house for two months…..last night was the right time to watch it.

In the Movie, Morrie says to the type A protagonist that to live you have to learn how to die. It’s almost the theme of the entire movie and I think of our lives. What a sage statement… that I had to think and dream about to make sense of.

The first question that came up when thinking about this statement is where do dying and living have a common stream…I then realized it’s not about living and dying, but what happens when we know we’re dying and have time to experience it….We start to concentrate on being present with life… is not finite anymore…there is an end and we can start to get a sense that the end of this life is coming for us.

It forces us to focus on being present first with ourselves and then with others around us. For me, this means to experience life and not to just live life….I read about people who want relationships, they want money, they want a family, they want…..what I think many of these people really want is to feel…we’ve done a good job as a society to have lots and lots of diversions….these diversions allows us not to experience life.

When I think about my own life at least 80 to 90% of the time I’m living life and if I’m lucky 10 to 20% of the time I’m experiencing life….In that small amount of time I’m noticing what goes on around me…I’m internally, but externally focused at the same time….I’m able to be with others and understand what’s going on with them….I’m with others, I’m with myself and I’m with the universe….

I’ve met some people who can become totally present with the universe in seconds….they are so talented at quieting their minds that they exude peace…there aren’t many of them, but when I meet someone like that it’s a real treat. I think I’m getting better at it, and as with all skills, this is one that needs practice….practice that pays off in a very big way.

A friend of mine recently asked if having my son in Iraq has helped me on my renewed journey of being present…I think the answer is that partially yes, it has. I also think the Universe has bestowed some other experiences that I’ve recently had that also allowed me to experience and be totally present with others….I want to spend a greater percentage of my time being present…

I never knew Morrie, but I miss him….We all need teachers who are kind but stern at the same time…they hold our feet to the fire and make us face the questions we don’t want to face. They help us feel our humanness and allow us to help others feel theirs.

I don’t know why, but writing this post has made me feel very sad….I’m not really sure why…I think that in my life my mother was my Morrie…I’ve written before that she left us over twenty years ago…

In another post I put up the words for a John Denver song, What One Man Can Do….Morrie, this song is also for you, my mother and all the great people of the world who have moved others. Thanks for living, thanks for teaching, thanks for providing an example for all of us….your grace and generous heart have made a huge difference in at least two people, Mitch Albom and me….and, I suspect in many, many others.

Thanks…it’s your turn.

wickedeasy 67F  
26772 posts
8/27/2006 6:21 am

there is a CW song - the lyric that stopped me in my tracks -

'to live like you know you're dying"

every second is precious. when you stretched getting out of bed this morning did you notice how your body moved, did you celebrate the breaking of a new day, did you marvel at the fact that you are such a most amazing man, alive, moving, feeling?

when i woke today, it was a crash into awareness - from an ugly dream. my heart was pounding and i had tears on my cheeks. i tasted them, lying back, letting myself settle into the morning. i could hear the birds singing the sun up into the sky. the thudthudthud of the little girl downstairs running across the wood floors. i stretched and felt my body thank me. dressed for my walking meditation and met my friends at the park. the air is crisp and cool and feels like autumn. we joined in spirit, bowed and began and the energy moved slowly and then with increasing power. at the end as we joined and bowed, we all had such shit eating grins on our faces - not a word was spoken - as we scattered back to our lives but that shared moment of connection, that surging of energy - that full body awareness of how i am in this world - smiles - is with me still.

lovely post skier - as always

You cannot conceive the many without the one.

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/27/2006 3:15 pm:
I'm smiling about the start of your day....and yes, I did notice what was going on with me when I woke this morning...I'm getting more conscious about this with practice...Thanks.

catkit13 66F

8/27/2006 7:25 am

that book has been sitting, unread, on my bookshelf for months . . . now it's time to read it, i think - thanks for the reminder

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/27/2006 3:13 pm:
Your welcome it's one of my all time favorites, maybe more for type A men than women, but I think for everyone there's some real value.

silverhawk762 51M/47F

8/27/2006 7:24 pm

"...And I can't take to the sky
Before I like it on the ground..."
Miniature Disasters, K.T. Tunstall, "Eye To the Telescope"

Kind of appropriate, I think. I know what you're saying, though. Had a pulmonary embolism four years ago, and came awfully damned close to taking permanent leave of this world. It seriously changes your perspective on a lot of things that you would normally be doing in your life. I've learned that love is not something that you're "in", it's a natural by-product of knowing someone, and that you can love more than one person deeply in your life at the same time. I've also learned that passion is something that needs to be shared with others, whether it's a passion for music, or books, or for sex...

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 5:42 am:
Wow, I love this response...thanks so much for sharing it with me. And, yes, being in love with more than one person at a time is not only possible, but in my opinion a preferred way of living. I love passionate people...they tend to live life and not exist. Here's to passion of all kinds.

rm_aWench4U 61M/61F
741 posts
8/27/2006 7:43 pm

In the last two and a half years, I've lost five people who were close to me, the hardest being both my parents and my youngest sister-in-law. In watching them live as they approached death, I leaned a lot about living, and some about dying. I do try to live each day to the fullest, although right now is a bit of a rough patch and I'm not such a good job of it.

I have told the people who mean so much to me that they do hold a special place in my heart; I've sought forgiveness where I needed it, and granted it when I'd denied it to others. I know I have more to so in this life, which is why I am granted the priviledge of still being here. Just what that task is, I don't know, and I struggle with that. But it will be made clear to me at the proper time.

I don't fear dying, or at least the part that comes after death, because of my faith. Granted, I'm not in any hurry to get there, but my faith tells me it will be alright--in fact, it will be better than alright, it will be perfect. The actual moment of dying, feeling this life fade from me, is not something I dwell on. I cannot control when or how it will happen, so I leave that to my Creator to decide. He knows those answers, and I will soon enough.

Now, it's back to the business of living.

Remember the past but do not dwell there.
Face the future where all our hopes stand.


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 5:44 am:
Angel, I would highly recommend the's very short and takes only an hour or two to read. I suspect the lessons that Morrie teaches are ones that might be useful for you at this time in your life...He was an extraordinary man. If I'm being presumptuous I'm sorry

rm_shannee2006 52F
3355 posts
8/28/2006 11:24 am

There is a spiritual skill that I teach. I call it Following Your Peace. It makes me feel alive and passionate to follow the flow of life toward the things that bring me feelings of happiness, joy and notice my breath, to savor a rainbow, to find others to share my joy of writing, to make love to my husband, to put my hands on others and heal them. These things bring me peace. When I need to make a decision, I follow the direction that elicits feelings of peace....and head in that direction. There are times when fear exists in all directions I could take. In those moments, I settle quietly and I take a look at my own motivations and expectations. I identify them. Then I factor them out of the process. Separate from the internal things that cause my fear, I always clearly see a direction that brings me peace...and I follow that way. I face those fears and clarify my motivations and expectations as a result. I grow...but I am at peace nevertheless because I followed the peace.

Skier, you have the key to living fully...and out loud. It is to be fully present.

For me a part of being present is to follow my peace.

Yup...this juiciness is from me....


AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/28/2006 3:37 pm:
What a great response, there is nothing for me to add. Thanks so much.

ShyWhisper2006 53F
15175 posts
8/29/2006 2:35 am

thank you...

AstirRelicLatah replies on 8/29/2006 8:15 am:
You're welcome, but for what?

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