What would you do if you had a lifetime to live?
One of the greatest blessings writing 6 Months to Live has given me is a sense of immediacy. I’m continually asking myself questions like:
- “Am I being true to myself and living the life I want to?”
- “If I really had 6 months to live, what would I do?”
- Most importantly, “Am I living a life I’m proud of?”
There are times when I respond with an enthusiastic YES — absolutely. And of course, there are other moments when I respond with a resounding NO. Those who know me well, understand that I have big dreams and a passionate heart. A downside to that combination is that words like patience, timing, and trust have been my lifelong mosquitoes, constantly buzzing (and sometimes biting), reminding me that the beauty of life is not always in action but in trusting that life will provide when the time is right. The fact that my 29th birthday is just around the corner adds to my inner sense of urgency, as I approach the end of my 20′s.
I was very upset yesterday because there are currently aspects of my life that I want to change and have been for what seems like an eternity. After I had wiped some tears away, my friend asked me, “What would you do if you had a lifetime to live?” I immediately laughed and felt a huge wave of relief. The first answer that came to me was, “I would have time.” Time to figure it out, time to make mistakes, time to “waste,” time to take life at my own pace.
The purpose of the 6-month question is to instantly connect people with their heartfelt desires. What do they most want in their lives? Are they currently aligned with that desire? My initial experiment to approach my life as if I had 6 months to live showed me all that was possible to accomplish in 6 months, and it also grounded me in what was most important. After nearly 3 years, it has become an exploration of life.
As it says below: whether it was as a little girl climbing the tallest trees I could find or as a 23-year-old living in rural China, I have always been an explorer at heart. True exploration is not always about the most exciting destinations or action-packed life 24/7. It’s about exploring and understanding all aspects–the dark and the light, the noise and the silence, a time to act and a time to wait. It’s having the wisdom to know when a kick in the pants with the 6-month question is necessary or when having the patience to approach life as a unfolding lifetime of exploration is the most beneficial.
I’m grateful to write this blog. It continually encourages me to ask myself important questions and to actively seek what I most want to experience in life. I’m also glad my friend reminded me that God willing, I will live many 6-months. Perhaps those pesky mosquitoes called patience, timing, and trust are more like fireflies, lighting the way in the darkness, reminding us that every experience opens and shapes the heart if we let it.