I believe it is important to focus on the positives of life. There is so much beauty and wonder in this world to be grateful for and making a point to celebrate it all is a great way to live. It puts you in a state of constant appreciation and joy at having the opportunity to be a part of this big, wide, random chaotic world. But I also believe that you can develop a deeper appreciation for the majesty and the experience of life when you look at some of the deeper, darker truths that we cannot deny. If we are mindful and present when we are staring into the dark caverns of life’s terrible truths we have the opportunity to draw a whole lot of light from them. But only if we bring the right attitude and the right wisdom.
With that in mind, here are 6 terrible truths that we all must face in order to live a more meaningful life.
You will have regrets.
We all have our regrets. A lover never kissed. A chance never taken. A dream left to die. A road left to dust. Regrets can consume us and pile up, shadowing the future of our progress, but we don’t have to let regret be that desperate shade of mediocrity. Live bold. Do crazy things that scare the shit out of you. Never stay in your comfort zone for longer than it takes to catch a breath and dive back into the deep, terrifying waters of endless possibility and limitless experience. There are so many beautiful things and people out there and you seriously risk missing it all if you don’t start taking some chances. Make some mistakes. Get your hands, heart and mind dirty. Regret the things you do sometimes, but never come to regret not doing something. As Lucille Ball once said;
“I would rather regret the things that I have done, than the things I have not done.”
You will fail.
I have talked about how failure is actually a blessing in disguise, but in the heat of the failing moment it is easy to forget that little life lesson. The truth is, you are going to try something that is really difficult and you are going to fail and when you do you are going to beat yourself up over it. It happens to all of us, but we don’t need to keep dragging that failure around. Everyone has failed. It’s not something unique to you and that makes it normal. And if you are living with enough force and intensity, you will fail again. But not everyone learns from their failures and presses on again, adjusting and finally succeeding. If you are going to fail you might as well use it and learn from it, because that is the only thing that separates you from the rest of the failing universe. You will fail, but you do not have to be a failure.
You will get sick.
I hardly think about being sick, or the ensuing misery of a prolonged illness, until I am right in the middle of it. I never seem to appreciate my health so much as when when I am ill. We all get sick, and by remembering that terrible truth, we do a better job of trying to keep ourselves as healthy as we can. Exercise and eating right can go a long way in staving off illness and the more you keep the inevitability of sickness in your mind the more motivation you will have to stick to an exercise plan or to a healthy diet that will keep you healthier longer. Physical health is such an underrated component of a life worth living. The body has an enormous ability to affect the mind. The fact that we will become ill at some point should help us appreciate the moments that we are not, and should spur us towards doing whatever we can to keep our health about us.
You will lose someone you love.
Be it a death or a break-up, you will lose someone you love in your lifetime. If you are lucky, it will happen more than once. Yes, I said if you are lucky it will happen more than once. Why is that lucky? Because it means you had the courage to open your heart, again and again, and you were able to hold a whole heap of love inside of you despite the cracks and cuts. Losing a love reminds us that we are capable of love and to be capable of love is the greatest revelation we can bloom inside ourselves. Yes, in the heat of the moment, when a love is severed, it can cut your very soul, but time is the healer of all wounds and you will be able to love again and you can be sure of that because you were able to love in the past. Appreciate the lessons that the person you lost has taught you about yourself, about what you want out of life, and use that loss as a means to take action. Make that loss your gain.
You will be hurt.
Life is full of many hurts and it is inevitable that it will happen to you. Someone might cheat on you. Someone might abuse your friendship. Someone might steal from you. Someone is going to come around and do something that will leave you shocked and shattered, because you never expected that of them. It will happen a bunch and each time it will feel like a freshly opened wound that makes you want to seal up your heart in a tiny little box and throw away the key so no one else can ever get in there. It’s a natural reaction. But you can’t do that, because if you do you are going to miss a lot of really amazing opportunities for friendship, love and companionship. The best revenge against someone who has hurt you is to be extraordinary after they leave. Live a life that will leave them envious and small. Never stop putting your heart out there because most people are going to cherish it and you are going to meet some really amazing people who will help you do some really amazing things.
You will die.
The saddest and most liberating truth of life. We are all temporary things on a temporary world in a temporary universe. No matter your money, your status, your intelligence or your number of Facebook friends, you are going to die. And what’s more, you have no idea how much time you have left – anyone has left. You can let that eat at your soul and gnaw away the hours of your precious life with worry and sadness or you can come face to face with that truth and look it dead square it the eyes and say, “You can take me when you have to but before then I am going to make it count!” Death is not a sadness for the dead, it is only a sadness for those of us left, because we see it as the end of the things we can do.
Well, you are not dead yet and have the chance to do those things now! Use the inevitability of death as a motivator. A great, big, universal kick in the ass to do all of the crazy, amazing things you want to do in this world! Travel. Love. Get out of your comfort zone. Do the things you always wanted to do and stop putting anything off that you really want, because everything, and I mean everything, could be taken away from you at any moment.
Sometimes, the terrible truths are the ones we most need to face in order to move past the most difficult trials in our life. Sometimes we have to admit some painful things to ourselves in order to make the changes we know we need to make because pain has a way of driving us forward; of snapping us out of the numbness that living often expects towards a vitality that living so desperately needs. And oftentimes, when you face the darker truths of life, you can see deeper and farther than you ever saw before and with that vision comes a strength, and a knowledge, about where you want to go and who you want to be.
It’s up to you if you want to look at the terrible truths or not, but make no mistake, seeing them or not, they will find you. Will you be ready when they do?