Embracing Life

I was recently at a conference which centered completely around the topic of emotion. Emotions are something which we have learned little if anything about in the secular society of which we are a part… we are to be able to understand everything cognitively and disregard emotion… yet it is a powerful way to discover how and why we operate as we do in the world. Every decision we make is colored by emotion. There have been numerous test on patients who have suffered brain damage where their emotional centers were damaged and it was found and witnessed that after such accidents people could not make good decisions. Emotion plays a huge role in our lives.

One of the participants in the program I have grown to love as a friend and individual said the following in an email to me. “To embrace life fully is also to embrace death fully.” That hit me as it is a lesson that I am in the midst of now. To embrace living we must embrace the possibility of dying. Not to say we hope for it… but that we are not afraid of it… we accept it. It is in the acceptance of death that we see the joy of living. Do not dwell in death… simply acknowledge it’s part in the plan… I once heard a great man say, “Even as much as God loves some of you people you’re not going to make it off this planet alive!” Death is part of the plan, part of the process. In actuality there are few experiences which change us more than the death of a loved one. Perhaps the only one that may rival it is on a completely different playing field and found within the field of relationships. Connection, love, acceptance, and appreciation within a relationship can have the same changing effect and power as death can have. Even though it comes from an opposite emotion. Death and life while seemingly opposed go hand in hand… and you cannot fully participate in life without fully accepting death.

Living in fear of death has stopped many from pursuing their calling… from being the gift they are to the world. I always remember what President Benson said years ago… “no righteous man will ever be taken before his time.” Thus whatever happens to the righteous will happen. If it is my time to go I will be gone… and it will not matter whether I am on a cruise in the Bahamas, on a mountain in Nepal, sleeping at home in my bed, in the boardroom, or driving down the road in my car… time finds us all. Therefore accept this fact of life and live each day with whatever passion and drive and desire you can muster.

I am privileged to speak at my brother’s funeral. I love to speak with all my heart. The question I approach this talk with is this… what do I speak on? From the other side of the veil what would be his message back to me? Perhaps I have already received it in the lessons I have learned. Perhaps it is his story and lessons which impacted me I must share… so as to impact the lives and relationships of those present. The greatest impact a person can have is not to simply change the life of another, which is not an easy process, but the greatest impact comes in being able to help couples and families strengthen one another. They say that motivation is like a fire… it must be continually restoked in order to keep it alive and burning bright… that is what must happen to an individual. However in families and relationships the goal is to create a place of perpetual renewal where that inspiration and motivation can be felt each time you walk into the home.

My parents raised me with such a feeling in the home. I did not realize it until I was at one point less active for over two years and trying to figure out why I was unhappy with my life… at one point I walked into my parents home to visit and was hit with this feeling of peace… I remembered having always felt that way at home… something that I did not feel at my home at that time. Because of that feeling I felt as I walked in my life began to change. I remembered the spirit and where to find it… I began the journey and it returned. That is the greatest gift we can give another… the gift of a powerful relationship, both to ourselves and to others. This is all so new to me because up until recently I had not thought alot on relationships or their full impact in our lives.

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