We are more than just getting up and going to work and coming home and repeating that day after day after day. We are more than paying bills, doing dishes and laundry, mowing the lawn, and sitting and watching TV.
We are more than just existing.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to just exist. I want to live— really live. I want to be aware of every moment and enjoy it as much as I can.
About a week ago, I was coming home from my sister-friend, Gloria's house, where I had shared a Shabbat dinner with her, her children, and a family friend. It was later in the evening than what I had planned for driving home. I don't like driving at night. When I left, I had just enough time to get home before dark.
As soon as I got outside of town, something came over me and I shut off the radio. It seemed like all it was doing was just making noise. Suddenly, I became overwhelmed with the quiet of the evening. It wasn't that it was a physical kind of quiet. After all, the car was still making noise since the engine was on and I was traveling on a highway that had a rough surface.
The sky was a gentle, soft blue, and I could see the sun setting in the west. There wasn't a single cloud anywhere and you could just begin to see a star or two peeking into the sky towards the east.
No, it was a different kind of quiet. An emotional or spiritual kind of quiet. The quiet I heard was within my own spirit. It was a quiet of being in the moment. I can't count the number of times I have driven the same road and never felt this emotion before. Usually, I listen to the radio or cd and just travel down the road, not giving a thought to my surroundings or anything else, just watching the other vehicles on the road and watching for deer; I drove wanting only to get home.
This evening was different. I don't know if it was because of sharing a wonderful evening with my friends, or because of things I've been thinking about lately, but whatever it was, it felt comfortable and peaceful. I was aware of my thoughts, I was aware of the enormity of the sky and my physical presence in comparison. It was all just so comfortable and so sweet. It was a sudden and quiet sense of belonging in the universe.
I wasn't just existing. I was alive!
I suddenly realized, I mattered. I was not an insignificant part of the universe, but I was important, and I mattered. Not because I'm anything special in an egotistical kind of way. But because I was created to be a part of this universe. I was created to be a part of my surroundings, and my family, and my friends. I was created to interact with, give back to, and be a part of others in my sphere of influence. I felt so small and yet so large, both at the same time. I felt alive! It was one of those moments where you have no words to speak at the time and yet, all at once, you're filled with so much you want to say.
There was no one there to say it to, except for myself and my Heavenly Father. My Creator.
But I really didn't need to say any words out loud. I knew within me I just needed to be alive to experience the peace and comfort of the moment. No more just existing. It was time for me to live!
I soaked in the enjoyment of the peace and quiet for the rest of the ride home, in the awareness of every moment.
At this point, you might be asking, okay so what difference did it make? Some time ago I wrote an article about jumping, and I have to admit, I probably didn't jump as high as I should have after writing that article. It was more like little hops. After that drive home, I was determined to start living every single moment and to stop just existing. And I did that. I'm doing that.
Even those moments when I'm sitting down and doing nothing, I'm enjoying them— I'm doing nothing on purpose! I've made other changes as well. I decided to remove myself from negative environments and stop doing things that were not enjoyable and were not adding to my quality of living.
I had been putting off looking for employment closer to home, so I wouldn't have to drive anymore. The Tuesday after, I applied for a job. That Friday, I got it! In two weeks, I will no longer have to drive an hour and a half to work every day. In two weeks, I will walk a block and a half to work instead. As soon as the new employer and I shook hands on the deal, I felt a weight had been lifted. I knew it was the right choice!
There are other things I'm doing: rearranging and throwing stuff out of my house, more quiet time with Elohim, and most importantly, reaching out to family and friends as much as I can.
I am alive, not just existing!
I am so grateful for that drive home the other evening. I'm so grateful for the life given to me by Elohim, and I don't want to waste it with just existing anymore. Call me selfish, but I want more of those moments!