I was very distressed to find out that actress Valerie Harper passed away recently. In 2013 was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and had three months to live. How would you feel if you received this devastating news? I’d be paralyzed with fear and wouldn’t be able to function. I hope that you and I never have to experience this, but I can definitely learn from Valerie Harper’s experience.
This amazing woman was quoted as saying “Don’t go to the funeral. Live this day.” Harper is well-known for her optimistic attitude that got her through lung cancer in 2009. Despite her dismal prognosis, she was moving forward with her life, continuing to promote her book, “I, Rhoda,” and was incredibly considering new projects.
Living in the moment takes on an added significance when you hear about situations such as Valerie Harper’s. We never know what each day brings. It’s very easy to take life for granted. With all of our daily distractions, it’s a rare occasion that we fully experience life’s pleasures and momentous events. Did you really feel the joyous essence of a new baby, a wedding, a graduation, a child’s first day at school, a religious rite of passage, the miracle of nature, or the joy of having a pet? Life is fleeting, and these happy experiences should be cherished.
Fortunately, highly sensitive people have the capacity to deep-think and deep-feel life and all the goodness it has to offer. An awareness of this fact will help you cut through the clutter in your mind and focus on what’s in front of you. Don’t pay attention to what’s going on in your mind. Place your attention on what’s going on in the moment.
Savor each moment, and put aside your troubles or whatever you have to do. Don’t miss out on the special moments that make a great life. Make it a habit to notice new things. Fully experience the miracle of a newborn child, the beauty of a flower, or the calming influence of a waterfall. Have a laser like focus on whatever is in front of you. Your contentment and sense of peace will be magnified by your ability to pay attention to the present.
What specific things can you do to experience life more fully? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.
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“What specific things can you do to experience life more fully?” oh this one is bad. The top thing you can do is experience a traumatic event. I have never experienced art and music the way I did during the 5 years around my divorce. Some of my best traveling memories were very painful at the time. The best artists are deeply troubled…
It’s the “newtons law” of life experience 🙂
My feeling is that we take for granted the best parts of lives, relationships, momentous good times, and other happy events that happen to us. They go by too fast and we don’t truly experience them!
We do have the choice to remember what we want to remember. I choose to dwell on the positive and learn from the negative parts of my life. I can’t be a deeply troubled writer/artist. It’s too depressing and doesn’t serve me well.