The start of Awareness

Light at the endI was speaking the other day with a friend of mine about life’s difficulties and how people come away from bad experiences feeling lucky. It is more than once that I have heard this and it seems to be a common theme amongst those who have recovered from a difficult time. My friend had been through a very difficult time with a serious condition that did at one stage threaten her life but its biggest impact was the period of 5-6 years she had to live with it and the changes in imposed on her and the huge impact it had on her confidence.

She told me it was wonderful to have this new persepective on things but she wished she didn’t have to go through what she went through to get it. If only, she said, “there was a pill you could take instead of having to go through all that s***”. It re-set her priorities she said, a real paradigm shift in her view on life.

Another friend of mine went through an awful bereavement and used the exact same terms without prompting. “Lucky” . Having gone through hell and emerged again in the sunlight he is aware of all the positives and the priorities and getting right whats really important.

So what if there was a pill?  Would people take it without a gun to their head? Anthony de Mello claimed that people don’t like waking up, that awareness is rejected because when people are in their (comfort?) zone its like they are tucked up in a warm bed and they resist being woken up.

Often people are in a dream state and go through life focused on the wrong things, only becoming aware of this at the end of their lives. What if you could become aware when you could still get the huge benefits from this?

Steven Covey in his well read book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People” suggests to get your priorities straight you need to understand first what your values are. To do this he recommends you imagine your self attending your own funeral. Four people get up to share the eulogy each from a differet aspect of your life: Family, Work, Community and Spiritual. Write down what you would like them to say about you. That is what you value. That should be north on your compass.

A great exercise to do. Its not a pill but its a start.

Aidan Higgins

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