The Dash

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on

“They’re all dead, they just haven’t put the number on the gravestone,” JR Ridinger.  As timing would have it, right as I’m talking about how we use our time and how to have a meaningful life, I hear this quote and it simply reaffirms what we have been discussing the last few days.  To add more context, Ridinger was discussing the value of time and how we spend our lives and that most of us live on repeat (another topic we’ve talked about quite a bit, here) with the work, eat, sleep pattern.  He mentioned a story where he went to a graveyard and as he looked at the headstones, he saw the date the person was born and the date they died and in between was simply a dash.  He correlated that death with the way so many people live.  Is it really living if we are doing the same thing day after day?  Especially if we are spending that time fulfilling someone else’s dream?  So he simply meant that living the same day on repeat isn’t living.

I’ve heard people talk about this before but they look at it from the side of the dash.  The numbers on the stone are irrelevant, it’s what you do with the dash.  We all get a certain number of years and we don’t know what that number will be, so make the most of the years you have.  I don’t want to live half-dead.  There is no point to that.  We are all given so much talent and we all have a purpose to share, I don’t see the point of wasting that.  I was raised to believe that we needed to wait for permission to share our gifts or that we needed to be told we were wanted.  I know now that isn’t true. We are given those gifts to share and even if they aren’t for everyone, there are certainly people who need them.  THOSE are the ones we need to focus on.

I often think about how we are all so brainwashed and manipulated into believing that this is how we have to live.  I’m absolutely including myself in that as well because there are things I am responsible for and in order to meet those obligations, I have to do certain things.  Yes, I have the opportunity to make different choices in how I meet those obligations, but I have put myself in a position where I need to meet my end of the bargain.  That’s how we all live.  While I’m in this in between of knowing that I have responsibilities and simultaneously wanting to live freely, I’m trying to let the creativity flow more.  There are so many things we can do to break these patterns and bring ourselves to life.  The point is to do it now while we still have the ability.

So, what are you going to do with the dash?  Are you going to live the same day over and over again for 90 years?  Or are you going to find ways to infuse as much magic into your days as possible?  Finding the way to spread love and light and hope is what we do.  I posted on IG the other day about how we are naturally alchemical beings—I wrote about it here too some time ago.  And it’s true.  We were mislead to believe alchemy was the magic of turning lead into gold when in reality, it’s about making this life what we want.  It’s about recognizing what we have while we are here and turning the mundane into the magical.  It’s about realizing that LIVING is the gold, not the literal resource.  So take the time to make some magic.  Create the life of your dreams.  Inspire others to do the same.  Find new ways to do things.  Love this life.  And live while you are still in the dash.           

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