What do you live for?
Who do you live for?
Sometimes, when you forget the answers to these questions, the universe has a way of reminding you.
Date: Friday, March 16, 2012.
My mom leaves me a text message: “Call me ASAP.”
Over the phone: “Pop-pop couldn’t speak. He’s in the hospital. He has a brain tumor. They don’t know if it’s malignant or not. They’re operating in the next few days. He might die soon.”
Wow. OK. Contemplation begins.
Life flashes before my eyes.
The universe knocks on my head a few times: “Heyy there!! Anyone home?! Are you doing what you’re supposed to be doing? Are you worrying about being ten minutes late to an appointment or how many chores you have to do? Does that stuff really matter to you?”
A Text Message as a Sign
Before I received that text message at 10:14 PM to be exact, I’d spent the day with almost twenty of the most passionate, engaging, loving people I’ve ever met (Thanks Jonathan Fields). They were so engaging that life took the form of butterflies in my stomach, throughout my bloodstream, and fluttering within the lenses of my eyeballs for the previous twelve hours.
I had already remembered what life was about: the love and the humanity.
But walking home, my thoughts wandered to the doldrums of the following week: the multitude of unimportant tasks.
So the text message came.
It reminded me about the answers, reinforcing a truth of the universe: “Without humanity, nothing matters.”
A Not-so Serious Life
Life isn’t as serious as your mind makes it out to be. ~Eckhart Tolle
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2012.
I drove to visit Pop-pop at St. Peter’s Hospital in Central New Jersey.
As I’m driving, I begin to dread the situation that I will find him in.
I enter the hospital doors and I think to myself: “Wow, hospitals suck a lot.”
Think immediate energy depletion. Serious disease and imminent death has that effect on life.
I walk up the stairs to the oncology wing. I hear beeping machines and see older gentleman walking gingerly with the help of nurse’s aids.
Finally, I enter Pop-pops door. He sees me…
“What the F?” I think to myself.
The guy is about to get his skull cut open and he’s laughing up a storm.
Apparently, he was happy to see me.
Not-so serious, but very real.
I ask him questions, some of which, are more important than the others (particularly #6 and #7):
- How was your day?
- How bad is it?
- When are they operating?
- Did Mom cry?
- Did you cry?
- How’s your spirit?
- Are you scared of death?
He starts talking to me about his neighbor in the hospital room, a Hindu man named “Kiran,” which apparently means “ray” in English.
I ask Pop-pop, “Do you think that means ‘ray’ as in ‘a ray of light’?”
“I think it means much more than that,” Pop-pop answered.
I understood what he meant.
Kiran, hearing us talking about him as if calling to him through our subconsciousness, comes over to talk to interrupt my conversation with Pop-pop.
In broken English:
“Don’t worry grandson. What is name? Chris. Ok Chris. Don’t worry Chris. There is no material. There is only mind. I meditate for him. He be fine.”
Kiran continued to passionately explain how in this reality, you can do anything you want in life.
But in order to do anything, you must love both yourself and others.
“When you love and live in the present, the universe is your’s.” ~Kiran
3 Lessons On Humanity
Pop-pop has not been operated on yet.
But looking right back at Kiran’s dead-certain stare, the feeling washed over me that, he’s right.
Pop-pop will be fine.
What did I (re-)learn this past weekend?
- Love and other humans come first.
- You can do anything you want in life.
- Humbly observe: you never know where you might see a sign in the form of a text message or a “ray” of light. ; )
Can you see the signs?
When is the last time you saw a sign that brought you back to your own humanity?
Dr. Christopher Stepien is a chiropractor, chronic pain specialist, and A.R.T. provider, and clinic director of the Barefoot Rehabilitation Clinic in Morristown, NJ. He has been trained under the Integrative Diagnosis system for “clinical excellence”. He loves to help people in ANY way he can. Please reach out to him if he can be of a service in any way. It doesnt hurt to ask.