Gratitude Saves the Day When Death Lurks at Crossroad

We live each day as if our life is about to start tomorrow. Today it’s only the rehearsal. Today, we experiment with negative emotions, toxic thoughts and harmful behaviours.

Tomorrow, the real life will start. In the real life, we feel happiness and meaningfulness, we will observe our thoughts without identifying ourselves with them and we will have a healthy life.

Tomorrow never comes. All we have is today, when we feel trapped in something like a mouse wheel, where we have no energy or willingness to get away from. Until something tragic happens. Something that shakes up our emotions and thoughts and forces us to contemplate the face of death from few inches distance.

We feel small and helpless in face of destiny, like a newborn baby in the arms of the midwife. A tiny bit of regret creeps into our hearts.

Why didn’t I live intensely up until today?

Why did I keep procrastinating the day when I laugh and love wholeheartedly, when I accept myself as I am, and when I would do what represents me the most?

Why?

The tragedy comes unexpectedly today and there may not be tomorrow. Is it Life or Death who is going to win by the end of the day?

In such a day, we have the opportunity to reinvent how to live. When contemplating upon death, I chose to breathe from the very core of myself. I chose to search for the strength to love and hope.

One ordinary afternoon, my phone rang and the friendly voice at the other end announced, in a hesitating tone, that my father and a close friend had a car accident. “They are in the ambulance. The doors to the ambulance closed before I had the have a chance to see your dad, I don’t know how he is. I did see your friend. She looked quite pale.”

In that moment, I instinctively returned to the core of myself, which is FAITH. As the pain in the heart was growing stronger, faith became a necessity, like the air that I was breathing.

Faith, the belief that we come from the same source and we have a deep, yet unexplored, connection with this source, was like an anchor in the sea of uncertainty.

After faith, human connection turned out to be the second pillar of stability. Talking with people who cared and praying together were immediate responses to the bad news.

In the following days, while struggling to accept that the car accident happened and choking in emotional pain, I had a moment of illumination when I felt gratitude about the goodness in my life. I started counting three things I felt blessed for the day. The blessings were small things, like being embraced by my child or feeling the sun rays on my cheeks. Small experiences of life, with a tremendous healing effect on my suffering.

My father survived the car accident. Our friend didn’t.

They say that time heals. Tomorrow I will accept that the tragic accident happened. Today, I thank for having my father alive. Also, I cherish the memory of our friend and feel grateful for having met her, a force of life and embodiment of joy.

Today is time to love, laugh and be kind with whoever crosses my path.   

 

A New Kind of Gratefulness

At the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013, I have experienced a strong feeling of gratitude for a group of people I have never met but whose sacrifice had a tremendous influence on my destiny. This group of people are the ones who rebelled against the Communist regime in Romania in December 1989. They risked their lives for the right to live in a democratic country.

The protests took place from 16 December to 22 December when unarmed people rioted against the guns, tanks, and anti-terrorist troops (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_Revolution_of_1989). I don’t know how they must have felt or what must have been the last thoughts in the minds of the protesters who lost their lives during the protests. It took 1104 deaths and 3352 injured protestants to take Ceausescu down.

Starting with that bloody December 1989, Romanian people had the right to freedom of speech and expression. I am one of them and each December, I feel indebted to light a candle for those people who died so that I can have the life that I have now.

Life is such a dynamic network of connections between people. While we focus on our mini universes, there are moments when our actions benefit other person’s life. Our souls are connected at a higher level of existence and in this life, our lives are pieces of a big puzzle of humanity.

At the beginning of a new year, I have my heart full of gratitude for being part of this puzzle of humanity and I hope that one day, my actions are going to bring positive changes into other persons lives. Happy New Year! :)