Life is short. Life is fleeting. Life can end coldly, abruptly, and unnecessarily. We know tomorrow is not promised to anyone. We are painfully reminded of this each time someone who has touched our lives is suddenly gone. We are all connected as one so you don’t have to have met someone or have known someone for their death to impact you. It is shocking, tragic, and sad. You may feel anger, denial, depression, frustration, or even fear.
My childhood musical heroes are dying and each one is more painful than the next. It seems as if this recent string of losses has just been one after another: Heavy D, Don Cornelius, Etta, now Whitney. There have been so many: Gil Scott, Vesta…I’m not sure I even named them all. It is numbing. It feels irrational. I did not personally know any of them yet my life would not be the same without the beautiful gifts they each gave to me. The questions we are left with can be overwhelming.
In a strange way, I feel disappointed. Heart disease, substance abuse, suicide, etc. – things were not suppose to end this way. I do not want their tragic end to be how they are remembered. In the same respect, I do not want to gloss over a tragic end with a celebration of life that does not deal with the issues that led them to such a transition from this life. We know many of these deaths can be prevented. Moving past this without doing something about it would be an even bigger tragedy.
How do you personally respond to an amazing life cut short in a way that pulls some good from such a terrible loss? What do you do with the time you have left? How do you move forward in a way that honors the impact they had while keeping others from a similar demise? I would like to suggest 3 small steps we can each take to turn a tragedy into a triumph.
1. Go Out Of Your Way To Encourage Hope In Others
I have heard so much about Soul Train line dancing to honor Don. What I have not heard is a real serious discussion about suicide among Black men. No, it’s not just about black men or the black community. We are all connected. You may not know who in your world is losing hope. You may be the one hanging by a thread. Begin to go out of your way to encourage people around you with a kind word or a friendly smile. You may not become famous like Whitney Houston; however, you do have the opportunity every day to shape the lives of people you will never know and may never remember with a kind word. That word could be the very thing that gives them enough hope to hang in there for another day.
It is impossible to stay hopeless when you are spreading hope and love to others. If you find yourself being the one in need of a word, take matters into your own hands. Give to others exactly what you need to receive. Speak life to the people around you and see how it impacts your feelings for the better.
2. Spread More Love Than Judgment And Condemnation
If you are on Twitter, Facebook or any other internet blog or site, by now, you have encountered someone who feels the need to judge others harshly or say cruel things in times of great tragedy. Don’t be him. No one needs to hear what coulda, shoulda, woulda happened. It is what it is. Unless you can breathe life back into the lost one with your criticism, keep it for another day. This is not the time. Instead, imagine yourself in their shoes. The greatest gift you can give to yourself and others is an attitude of love and compassion. Do what you can to understand why they felt there was no other choice. Remind yourself and others that there is always another choice.
We are human. Each one of us makes mistakes. Compassion accepts your current circumstances for what they are and allows you space to decide how to move forward in a better way. This is not coddling. This is understanding and love at its best. The more you speak on positive things, the more you bring positive things into your own life.
3. Do What You Can To Prevent Your Own Tragic End
Take the lessons of physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional healthy living and preventative care to heart in your own life. Even if you don’t have insurance – go schedule an annual visit to the doctor. Visit a local health fair or your county clinic. Find out what your own lifestyle risks are and DO something about them now.
No, you may not be a musical legend but there are people in your life that love and depend on you. Show love for the people that have and have not acknowledged how important you are in their life by taking care of your health and well being. Show love to yourself by taking care of yourself.
The best way to honor the lives lost it to prevent even one person from going down that same road. Actively look for ways to help others and do not forget to help yourself too.
Adrienne, the Soul Power Coach™ is the founder of www.soulpowercoach.com and the “Sort Out Your Life in 30 Seconds with Soul Power Challenge”. Using the basic tools for living with Soul Power, Adrienne shows creative thinkers like artists, engineers, and other problem solvers how to stop struggling with variations of self sabotage like pride, procrastination, disorganization, fear, resistance, and indecision. Many clients come to her seeking a more meaningful career. Her clients learn to embrace their unique life purpose and start taking consistent action on the big ideas they have about being of service to the world.
To learn more, request a complimentary Taste of Soul Power Coaching Conversation. This conversation is specifically designed to provide a listening ear and help you articulate your specific positive intentions & priorities for the next 6 months. You decide based on your intentions if you want coaching support to create the focus, consistency, discipline, balance, peace of mind, and joy required to follow through and achieve those results. To request your complimentary Taste of Soul Power Coaching Conversation and get a free Soul Power Pack of Life Area Cards, visit www.mysoulpower.net You may also connect with Adrienne, the Soul Power Coach on Twitter (soulpowercoach), Facebook (Soul Power Coach) , and Google+ (SoulPower Coach)