If I die young bury me in satin. Lay me down on a bed of roses. Sink me in the river at dawn. Send me away with the words of a love song.
These lyrics made me laugh, and then cry some more:
A penny for my thoughts, oh no I’ll sell them for a dollar. They’re worth so much more after I’m a goner.
And maybe then you’ll hear the words I been singin’
Funny when you’re dead how people start listenin’
Welcome to my crazy, friends.
This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about having a short life. This is, however, the first time I felt totally okay with the possibility. However remote, I am not afraid of the reality that I might actually die young. Or young-ish. I mean, there was a point when I thought people over 30 were old. Those pushing 40 might as well be ancient.
I once heard a speaker talk about a word doc he had titled “Don’t Cry For Me,” and in that document, he wrote down all his amazing experiences. In the event of his death, he wanted people to know he lived a full life.
“Don’t cry for me, I held my brand new baby.”
“Don’t cry for me, I’ve eaten the perfect steak.”
He offered several examples, but those are the only two I remember. I might even be misquoting, but you get the point.
I was 26 when I heard this message. At the time, I couldn’t fathom being okay with death. I was terrified at the thought of dying. Looking back, I now realize it wasn’t death I was afraid of; it was not living the life I was meant to live. I was afraid of was spending my years on earth, no matter how few or how many, in a state of self-loathing. I was afraid of dying with so much left unsaid.
For the most part, I say the things I want to say. I tell people how much I love them. I ask for what I want. I set boundaries. I make myself a priority. I don’t exist to please other people. I live my truth. I follow my heart. I ask tough questions. I wake up early and write this post because I feel like it. I am vulnerable instead of guarded. Open instead of shut down. And for the first time, I am living a life I love so much, that if I only get “almost 40 years” on earth…
Well I’ve had just enough time.
I am living, truly living. I am laughing hard and loving hard and feeling deeply about things. I am sharing my heart. I am chasing my dreams. I am walking the path I am supposed to walk. I will die with very little, if any regrets. Whenever that day comes, whether it is in two years or 62 years, I will have had just enough time.
My life isn’t perfect. I still have financial, relationship and career worries. I don’t have it altogether. I’m chasing my dreams; I’m not living all of them. I am not sitting in the lap of luxury with nothing to fret over as I bring you these words.
I found peace and contentment despite external circumstances.
I want that for you, my friend. I don’t have a magic formula. If I did, I would give it away. I just know that loving and accepting yourself is the answer to healing all those internal struggles. I can’t walk the path for you. I can’t even give you clear directions. But I can tell you, self-love and self-acceptance should be your destination.
Anyone who is interested in self-help, personal-growth or whatever you want to call it, what you are really looking for self-acceptance and self-love. I hope to help you on your journey.
You might not fear death. I don’t know if everyone who hates themselves is afraid of dying. It was true for me, but your issues may look different. You might even be so far on the other side of the spectrum that you are hoping for death. I’ve been there too, friend. To you, I want to tell you this feeling is temporary. I want to tell you that you are worthy, just as you are. You don’t have to change a thing about yourself in order to be acceptable.
Accept yourself just as you are, then love yourself enough to make whatever changes you think you need to make.
It sounds counterintuitive. Everyone I talk to who says they don’t fully love and accept themselves, follow it up with, “I need to __________, and then I will be happy with myself.”
Take it from me, a person who needed to lose weight, be healthier, spend less time online, do more with her kids, make more money, be a better wife, etc. before I would be happy with myself that you’re going about it the wrong way.
Seek acceptance first.
Love you as the flawed, fluffy, shy, awkward, loud, too much soda drinking person you are. You are good enough just as you are. You are worthy, right now, simply because you are. You exist, therefore you are valuable.
Does this mean you’re perfect? Of course not. I still have a lot about myself I need to change. I need to eat healthier if I want to live longer, for example. But the changes I want to make are not prerequisites for my own acceptance. I love me just the way I am, but I love me too much to leave me with my bad habits. I want to be a better person all the way around, but if this is as good as I get, I am content.
I love my life, my husband, my children, my family and friends, but most of all, I love me. The love and acceptance I feel toward me and those around me, gives me a peace greater than any I have ever known. My dream is to share that peace with you.
May you have just enough time.
I don’t listen to pop or country (pop country? country pop?) whatever you call this music on a regular basis, and maybe you don’t either. If you haven’t heard the song I referenced, here it is:
Don’t wait until I’m dead to start listenin’.