To live you must die

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I watched an interview with Common who won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song Glory as he recounted some memorable moments in shooting the movie Selma which centres on the civil rights movement, spearheaded by Dr. King and he mentioned that Ambassador Andrew Young spoke to the actors on the first day of rehearsal. Young made a potent statement that jolted Common awake; said Young; ‘Their [ civil rights activist ] philosophy was; What are you willing to die for? Live for that.’  Common continues; . “These people were willing to die for freedom and voting rights, so they lived for that. Each day was put to that.”

 

It shocked me, the way it did Common and it made me re-think my life; what was I willing to die for? Did I even have anything I was willing to die for? The answer I found sent shivers down my spine.

I was willing to die for comfort. I am willing to die for being sheltered from pain and fears. And surely, my life reflects that.

Death is the ultimate fear. Life is the ultimate sacrifice. So these are the parameters that I have to contend with in defining my life. I let past tragedies and traumas distort those parameters and I did die; I sacrificed my life to fear, begging it to leave me alone. In turn, my passion, the fire of my soul, died down.

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.
= Benjamin Franklin=

Indeed, I let a life of safety and comfort fool me into thinking that because the pain was now dull and not sharp, as it had been before , that it was absent. But it simply slowed down a notch or two, and it was eating away at me whilst I did nothing.

It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.
= Marianne Williamson =

When I want to face something I’m really scared of like telling someone a painful truth or being vulnerable with another, I ask myself what the worst thing that could happen was, and I prepare to face that worst-case scenario. The fear immediately vanishes in the absence of doubt.

Perhaps I should extend that to the bigger obstacles I face and try so hard to avoid; what’s the worst that pain can do to me? What’s the worst missing out on something I desire could do to me? What’s the worst the boogeyman in the closet can do to me? 😛

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
= Eleanor Roosevelt =

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