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A little over seven years ago, I was witness to a near-simultaneous set of events.
One was the passing away of a beloved uncle; it was sudden, unexpected and put me in a mild state of shock. Being over 8 months pregnant at the time, I could not afford to give in to excess emotion as it may have affected the life I was carrying within.
A month and a half later, my daughter made her entry into this world. With that, I could let myself go- emotionally. The unadulterated joy that a mother gets when she looks down on her child’s face is, quite simply, inexplicable.
Later, when I looked back at these two events, it struck me that both were expressions of the individual self-one was expressing the desire to be alive, to breathe and to feel, while the other was evincing a willingness to bid farewell to the physical form.
In retrospect, they are not very different- they both wanted something from life. One wanted release from it, and the other required sustenance from it. The beauty of this paradox that existence presents , is the quiet certainty behind it.
When we live, we must live to the fullest-explore our potential, inhale the energy in the air and strive to make the most of what Life deals us.
When we leave, we must do it with a quiet dignity- accepting the peace that comes with the exit, leaving behind the cares that Life brought and embracing the unknown that awaits us.
If we can do this, we are likely to be closest to the idea of the Zen masters- at one with the Universe.