When we are born we begin a journey of uncertainty. Life is so uncertain, we don’t know if we get only one breath, or a hundred years of breaths. Inhale. Exhale. As I see it, every breath is a gift.
Many folks spend their life cursing under their breath. Life is merely tolerated as one infirmity after another, one annoyance after another, one grievance after another, one catastrophe after another, one complaint after another, one anxiety after another, one sorrow after another, one misfortune after another, for one breath after another, for however long they breathe. Every breath becomes a curse. Often they feel entitled to something more, something better, and that embitters them further, where, perhaps, it should embolden them to make a positive change, one breath at a time. I see this as a tragedy, for all of us.
There are countless others who don’t believe they deserve happiness, good health, success, peace, and sometimes, even to breathe. Almost without exception, these people have allowed someone else to breathe for them; their self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence have been eroded at the hands of others in their lives, usually by someone who claims to “love” them and have their best interest at heart. Their ability to breathe for themselves has been relinquished to another who gains an advantage, or perhaps just a sense of power and self worth, through domination, influence, opinion, control, and manipulation.
There are a handful of us who experience life, for the most part, as one joy after another, one triumph after another, one healthy moment after another, one fantastic experience after another, one glorious meal after another, one phenomenal adventure after another, one laugh after another, one magical kiss after another, one great glass after another, one sweet dream after another, for one breath after another for however long we breathe. This is a mindset, a decision, a lifestyle and a conscious choice that is made with every inhale and every exhale. I truly believe this is how life is supposed to be and we need only to learn how to live.
Of course, not every breath in every day is going to be joyful, triumphant, healthy, fantastic, glorious, phenomenal, laughter-filled, magical, great, and sweet, but, the more moments that are, the closer we are to the life we all deserve to live, and we are in much more control of that than we realize.
It is interesting, I think, that most of the positive thoughts, feelings and experiences we breathe in, many of us discovered through breath, itself. In mindfulness and meditation, we are connected to that primal gift, our breath. It is through our practice of connection to breath that we discover the joy, triumph, health, magic, and dreams that life is made of. Many, far wiser than I, have known, practiced, and taught this. For centuries. It is their wisdom I seek and follow.
It is through this practice that I endured what many would label infirmity, grief, annoyance, catastrophe, complaint, anxiety, sorrow, and misfortune, with not a frown and a tear, but with a deep breath, courage, resolve, optimism, and joy. I refuse to suffer, I insist on celebrating. Those occasional moments that are anything less than joy are simply reminders, lessons, of why we should take a deep breath, take a step away from the darkness, and embrace the next breath as the best breath, ever.
I am breathing for me. No one else tells me when to inhale, when to exhale, nor would I allow it. I am solely responsible for my life, for my health, my happiness, my attitude, and my experiences in life. I choose to celebrate, with every breath, because that is how I want to live, that is what I consider life, from this very breath onward. That is also how I want to die, as my last breath escapes me, in celebration of life. If my attitude is seen as sinful, hedonistic, selfish, or narcissistic, those are labels applied by someone who doesn’t know how to really breathe, how to really live. Labels don’t change me, labels don’t define me, labels don’t hurt me. I laugh out loud at labels. Who has time for that? There’s a party happening and I’m there, with bells on!
Life is the party and we are all invited. Will I see you there?