This world is an amazing place! Some places are filled with thousands, perhaps millions of people. Some are teeming with wildlife. Others seem barren, unless, that is, you look closer. We have classical music and hip hop, jazz and blue grass. Art and architecture have a history of richness, struggle, acceptance, and rejection. There is devastation and destruction from war, hatred and greed. There is hope and prosperity, love and generosity of the spirit. Each person has a unique life, filled with wonder, hope, joy, and tragedy.
Can we imagine that the hereafter is any less amazing, any less a study in contrasts? Just as there is a varied history of the world that pre-dates our birth and the life of each person is different from every other, might there not be a personal history of past lives lived? Just as there are future generations who will be here on Earth long after we are gone, might not there be a future existence waiting for each of us after death? Do you ponder these questions, too?
As we age, we become aware of the breadth and depth of the world – whether in this life or before we were born, as well as, at least for a time, after we are gone. How do we act, react and respond to this amazing place we call Earth and this amazing existence we call our life, when we contemplate our impact on the lives of others, theirs on us and prepare for our passing? Is how we think of ourselves different than how we think of others who have impacted our life?
Can you sit and imagine, then remember the world that has been your life? Perhaps the sum total that is your life happened without thinking about it. Perhaps you were more intentional, whether calmly or more actively so. Have you accomplished what you wanted to? Is there still time? Did these plans and ambitions control your life? Was it worth it? Are you ready to ask these questions? To answer them?
It is not just at the moment of our death that our life passes before our eyes. As we age and begin to sit more, our minds naturally turn to self-contemplation and review. Our childhood and youthful memories return with a force. When we visit with friends and family, the experiences and events of the past that we have in common become daily fare. When we sit with an aging parent or dying friend, it is more likely that we will consider and discuss the past, which is a rich and amazing place, than that we will think about the future. This review gives perspective and meaning, sometimes providing an opportunity to reconcile old conflicts and heal old wounds.
This is all a kind of life review, parts of a larger whole. A life review can be undertaken at any time. If you have a family member or friend who is elderly, perhaps ailing, and he or she begins to talk about the past, it is an opportunity to learn some history, learn about a part of the world, become closer, and help them put their lives in perspective. It is natural. It is part of this amazing place we call life.