Our number one regret is that we didn't spend enough quality time with our Loved Ones...So, Why Do We Keep Doing It?
My brother calls. He wants to chat. In the background, I hear pots clanging, tap water running. I struggle to understand what he is saying. Next, I hear the sound of a keyboard. He is on the computer. My concentration wavers. I call my sister. She is on her way to work. Through the phone, I can hear rushing as she paces to get to work.
My nephew calls. It's a general "Hi, How are you?" call.
As we talk, a chewing sound comes through the phone.
He is eating.
Words captured here and there.
Listening happening here and there, lacking essence and entirety.
Life in the Western World.
We do just about anything to distract ourselves from being present with each other.
And yet the number one regret of people dying or close to death is not being there enough.
Regret that they didn't spend enough quality time with their loved ones.
Regret that they were Not Present in their Lives.
So why do we do it?
Why, when we know it is so damaging?
It's taken me years to answer this question.
Years of frustration, research, and personal reflection.
The answer is as collective as it is personal.
And it comes down to two things.
Unconsciousness and Fear.
We Live our lives in a manic state of survival, rushing through life.
Lost and Afraid we fall prey to the Western way of Life. And that way is to accumulate as many material possessions as quickly and as often as possible.
The ideology of a fruitful and happy life in the western world is the accumulation of stuff.
Smiling models, actors portraying happiness and meaning through advertisements, media, and television, inadvertently suggesting that you too can have this, if you just purchase this product.
Unconsciously we follow.
Follow someone's idea of happiness...
When you don't know who you are, and what is valuable to you, you become susceptible.
And when you are susceptive, you follow.
Bathrooms spilling with countless products, crammed closets bursting with stuff, garages unable to park cars because there are too many things in the way.
Our consumerism is so out of control that even if we had another ten houses, we would find a way to fill them with stuff!
And so is the making of our prison.
A prison we create.
Money spent on things is deeper than just a fad. It is our time.
You need to spend time at your job to earn money. The more you spend on things, the longer you need to stay there.
Extending your time in a job you don't like. Increasing your loans, enslaving you further in the process.
And enslavement creates more stress.
It's hard to be clear, present when you have so many things whirling around in your head.
Bills, bills, bills, buy, buy, buy, spend, spend, spend, worry, worry, worry, work, work, work, rush rush, rush, die.
We are the most comfortable generation ever, more than any previous generation before us, and yet collectively we are the unhappiest.
Depression, loneliness, and suicides at an all-time high. Millions of people on medications and the numbers are growing.
Racing, rushing, manically consuming, we uncontrollably descend into our minds, pacing around like a caged tiger.
This is not Life.
And it's not what the heart wants.
We want connection, and we need it Now!
We are at the age of awakening.
No more excuses.
And choices means taking responsibility.
Responsibility for our part in it.
We must accept that we are Lost.
Lost and Afraid spinning out of control in a mad world where we attempt to replace the empty void inside of us with stuff.
We want a Higher Connection.
We want Presence.
To be Present with our Children, Family, and Friends.
Our Life has an expiry date.
It is Limited.
Comfort is great, but it keeps us where we are.
Safe. Cozy. Stuck.
It will not give you Freedom.
And it certainly will not give you Presence...
We have a choice.
We can spend our time here on earth consuming in excess, snuffing the loneliness and emptiness we feel inside, or we can rise and learn to be present.
Because our time here on earth will come to an end, and when that time comes you will self-reflect.
The question is, will it be one of contentment, knowing that you lived your life in presence among family and friends...
Or will it be one of regret?
The choice is yours.
- Sotir Ivanovski
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