Monthly Archives: May 2012

“Am I Dying…?”

This question was asked to me by my uncle who is suffering from lung cancer that has spread to his brain. He has been given days to live.

I did not know what to say. Should I tell him what I have heard? Should I try to change the subject? Should I lie? I froze.

I could have used logic and say “We are all going to die…” Or I could have minimized it and said “Don’t worry… you are fine…” Or perhaps I could have denied it and say “No, you are not .” Others would have probably used religion by talking about God and the “plan of salvation.” Would this be ok? Do I have the authority to talk to a dying person about what to do to go to heaven, when I have my own faults?  My own doubts?

Death is such an awful thing to accept.  It is difficult to finally face the reality that one day a loved one and all of us are going to cease to exist on this earth.

Cancer is a monster.  It is a way for the cells to replicate faster than it can get rid of, ultimately killing the whole body. It is a way for the body to slowly commit suicide.  Scary.  If I had a completely objective mind, the thought of cancer would be simply a medical condition that just happens. But since I have feelings, goals, intentions, wills, and hopes, thinking about this makes be very uncomfortable.

Is it possible to accept death without any fear?  I have learned that we all have a fear of death from birth.  As babies we cry when hungry, cold, bored, or in pain.  All of these experiences, if not taken care of, will ultimately lead to death.  When we are adolescents, we crave for acceptance and identity, something that will lead to feeling abandonment, isolation , and ultimately death if not addressed.  As adults, we want to marry, earn a career, have possessions, and have a purpose in life,  which will bring us to depression and anxiety if not accomplished because it means that we will be closer to having or being nothing, which is related to death.

If we are going to die anyways, why do we fear is so much?  It happens to everybody.  Why do we always try to ignore it and pretend it is not going to happen?   Is it the fear of the unknown?  Should we learn to accept it as we learn to accept failures, discomfort and pain?  Analyzing about why we fear death does not help me to alleviate the fear.

We have the concept of eternity.  We long to live forever.  Does this mean that we can actually live forever?

I don’t have the answers.  I am not sure if anyone does.  All I know is that one day we will all have to confront our end.  I hope that before that happens, I will be able to do what I enjoy the most and gives me purpose in life:  spend time with my children, paint, go to the beach, learn to play the guitar, visit other countries like Italy and Japan, and much more.  Today is the day to do these things.

However,  I also try to remind myself that I don’t want to be here simply to meet my own selfish desires.  I want to also be other people’s blessings.  I want to help others feel loved and important.  I should not only strive for the things I want for myself.  I want to also be part of a whole.

I recently read the quote “To be happy is not to have what I want.. but to want what I have”.  Great words of inspiration!   Being content with what I already have should be my life’s purpose.  That is why I also long for simplicity.

Maybe being content with my current life will help me to accept death more.  Maybe being happy with what I have accomplished and how I have blessed others should give me peace of mind.  Perhaps wanting to continue to help others in need should be my ongoing journey until it all ends.  Maybe death is like graduation.  A stage in life where I look back and acknowledge my losses and triumphs, always thinking that it is all about helping my fellow human beings.

What did I actually say to my uncle you may be asking?  I looked at those big green eyes staring at me…. thought for a few seconds and said “I don’t know for sure… all I know is that you are still here with us today…you have accomplished a lot in your life…  and we are happy to have you right now…. because we love you.”


Caring for those who are still here.

Visiting my dying uncle who’s frail and weak.  I find myself turning humble and meek.

How can I continue to take life for granted? I must stop myself from being so blinded.

Between intention and action there is a great abyss.  I think of all the love that we tend to miss.

I ponder on my family and close  friends. Cannot escape the notion that it will all end.

Ignoring that we’re mortals has its price.  We should appreciate more this wonderful  life.

It is better to continue the act of giving, instead of crying for the ones who are leaving.

Hug your children.  Laugh some more.  Enjoy the horizon at the shore.

We are not eternal, at least on this earth. So deny yourself and have a rebirth.

The ones who are dying will leave us forever.  The ones who stay need more than a prayer.

Let us live our purpose loud and clear.  Caring for those who are still here.

Becoming Nothing

What is Nothing? My mind creates so much that it has been difficult to separate myself from the fabricated environment I live in.   I must be something separate from  the mind that creates all the surroundings that my five senses perceives and interprets.  But what exactly is to be out of my mind? It is almost as divorcing from the self that I have identified with.  It is abandoning who I think I have been.  On a daily basis, I must take new,  uncomfortable steps  in order to start experiencing the real me.  I must separate from what makes me feel safe, secured, and not vulnerable. It is scary, but it must be done.

For example, I have changed the way I perceive others by being less judgmental.  I have changed my attitude about food and adopting a healthier diet.  I have changed the way I approach life in general, by acting more simplistic and be content with the few.  I have started to empty myself more and more to a point of desiring to be Nothing.  Yes, you  read it right.  I want one day to be Nothing.  No, I am not writing about ending my physical life as in suicide.  I am talking about ending my life as in spiritual death.  Dying so that I can live.  And in order to die, I must become Nothing.

Isn’t this what the spiritual journey is all about?  By becoming Nothing, I can actually become something new.  Isn’t this what the concept of God is all about?   Isn’t it true that in order to experience God, I must first empty myself from selfish agendas… divorce myself from myself?    Isn’t it true that in order to meet God, I must first separate myself from all the fullness that this world and  that my five senses have perceived as necessary?  Isn’t it true that I must be Nothing so that I can be something?  Maybe by being Nothing, I am already experiencing God.  Maybe I must stop wishing to be something different, and simply be Nothing.

What about God?  The concept of God is too transcendent and great for my limited mind to comprehend.  It is inconceivable.  Like the idea of Nothingness is inconceivable.  Can you perceive being nothing?  Can you grasp the notion of being before existence?  I cannot.  What would it be like to  be nothing?  Maybe God knows… or maybe the path towards God is through Nothingness.

Can you perceive God?  I cannot, the same way I cannot perceive Nothingness.  If God is experienced through Nothingness  then His existence is not the same as my existence, because I exist because I was created, I am something.  God  is beyond what I can ever comprehend.  This is why, the closest notion of God I can possibly have in my limited mind is the concept of Nothingness.

Peace. Calm. Serenity.  Surrendering. These concepts bring me closer to God.  Closer to Nothingness.

At the same time, I have understood that God is love, or we can experience a glimpse of God when we practice genuine and selfless caring for others.   Still, this definition of Love requires emptying myself… creating space in me…. so that I am able to reach out and help others selflessly.

It requires sacrifice.  It involves denying my self.  It requires leaning towards Nothingness.

The closer I get to Nothingness, the closer I get to God.

Therefore, I am becoming Nothing.