“Live for the moment because everything else is uncertain.” – Louis Tomlinson
On Saturday morning I woke up and read a story about Michael Messenger, a 12-year-old boy who died suddenly due to complications from the flu.
A few days before his death, Michael’s mother took him to the hospital because she was concerned about his continuous vomiting and flu-like symptoms. He tested negative for the virus, was sent home and then passed away shortly thereafter.
As I read Michael’s story, my jaw dropped in disbelief. My heart ached. My eyes welled with tears. I too have a son, and it’s unfathomable for me to read about the loss of an innocent child — especially to something like the flu.
I don’t think anyone ever wakes up and thinks, “it’s going to be the flu that gets me.”
We don’t think about our morality in those terms — many of us don’t at all. We think the days will keep coming and the clock will keep ticking…until suddenly, it all stops. And part of our denial is fear-based. Another part of our denial is being completely desensitized and detached from the events happening in our world.
“That’s sad for (insert person), luckily it hasn’t impacted anyone I know.”
“It could never happen to me.”
But, it IS happening. People are dying everyday, and some of them have barely had a chance to live yet. The flu strain circulating this year (H3N2) is particularly dangerous and aggressive, and has already claimed the lives of 30 people.
But, the purpose of this article isn’t to scare you into wearing a white mask outside for the next few months, it’s to inspire you to learn about how to live from these deaths — because they most certainly were not in vain.
Here are 5 things this deadly flu virus can teach us about life:
1.) Expect the Unexpected
📷: Steve Halama
“Que será, será
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que será, será
What will be, will be.”
The only thing constant in life is change. Everything else is just a comforting illusion. When we open ourselves up to this truth, and expect the unexpected, we invite life (and all of its chaos) to co-pilot with us on our journey here.
No longer do the judgements of others matter — we are free from limiting thoughts, beliefs and opinions.
No longer do we have expectations for exactly how things “should” go, instead, we allow them to be as they will be — meaning our futures become illuminated with limitless possibilities, while at the same time we accept that whatever will happen, will happen.
2.) Live without Hesitation
Close your eyes, and visualize yourself on your deathbed (gruesome, I know). You have only a few breaths left before all of the oxygen leaves your body for good, and you’re thinking about your life. What’s your biggest regret? What’s that one big thing you wish you’d tried but you were too afraid to do?
Now, snapback into the present moment because guess what? You’re still here! You still have right now! Isn’t that wonderful?
Life is a precious and fleeting gift. Every second matters, and the sooner we realize this, the sooner we’re able to cast aside fear and doubt, and live in alignment with our purpose.
So that one thing you really REALLY want to do? Do it. Don’t hesitate. Don’t live filled with regrets and what ifs.
3.) Be Grateful
If you’re alive right now (and I know you are because you’re reading this article!) then you have so much to be grateful for.
Start and end each day by saying thank you for three things.
If you don’t know where to begin, start simple. For example your three things might look like this:
1.) Thank you for my family. I’m grateful I have people in my life who love and support me.
2.) Thank you for my health. I’m grateful I am able to go through life with a strong and healthy body.
3.) Thank you for my lunch. I’m grateful I have this food to nourish my body.
This simple, quick routine will actually make you feel happier, and less prone to depression (gratitude is scientifically proven to increase our moods and make us feel better).
4.) Say I Love You at Every Possible Chance
As #1 indicates, the only thing constant in life is change so why not embrace every opportunity you have to show or tell someone you love them?
Live your life filled with love — you will be SO much happier, I promise you. Show people you love them through your actions. Tell them with your words. Embrace love, it’s a beautiful gift we all have the opportunity to give and receive, so give love without expectation, and accept love without conditions.
5.) Paint Your Sistine Chapel Now
All of us have a masterpiece within us waiting to be painted.
It’s your job to discover what your talents and passions are because these discoveries will lead you to your true purpose.
Maybe you’re an incredible pianist who will compose pieces that will inspire others.
Maybe you’re a talented teacher that will positively impact the lives of hundreds of students.
Maybe you’re a person who’s passionate about politics, and will help transform our world to be a more inclusive, tolerant and loving place.
Whatever your masterpiece is, it’s up to you to start painting it now because no one else can do it for you.
And above all, remember to cherish this day — it’s a gift, not a right.
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.