I was recently asked this question by my doctor–of all people? Who asks that type of question? I have heard the question “do you
deserve to live” but never do you have the right to live. It defintely took me by surprise. As is all things of life, we must take into consideration the context in which it was asked. In this case, my doctor is always as concerned about your emotional and mental well-being as he is in your physicial well-being. He knows that you won’t have good physical well-being unless you have the other two. He was asking me about my stress level. He then goes on about how stress will kill you. He’s very blunt! He then goes on about how are you sleeping, are you eating etc. It’s all very direct and no nonsense.
So then, the conversation goes on to the death of my son. I usually don’t talk about this or change the subject because it is still very raw. It took about two seconds, maybe one, for me to tear up in his office. That’s when he asked the question, “do you have the right to live”. I sheepishly replied “yes”. Since I had never been asked that question, I was really off base in my confidence level. He then asked again, “do you think you do?”. I said again, “yes”. He goes on about “do you think your son would be very proud of you moving on with your life and accomplishing good things?” I, of course, replied yes. What can you say to all that? He then went on to say that, in a collective way, “you have the right to live”. It must be remembered.
He knew that my son discovered heavy blood in his urine on his way to LegoLand with his daughter. This was the first symptom he had of the kidney cancer that would kill him. My doctor then went on to say, Gail, “you never know when you will have a Legoland moment”. That term now sticks in my brain, the “Legoland moment”. We are all susceptible to experiencing a Legoland moment. He went on to say how I am wasting my time here by allowing stress to rob me of my own life. He continues on by asking “why do you want to fill your days with stress?”. Whether it’s money, grief, relationships, illness, work pressure, we have to get real here folks and remember our finite amount of time on earth. Exhaustion and stress are thieves. They take our time, lives and joy. You have the right to live. Look at it all and make changes that support your right to live. It comes first before “pursuit of happiness”.
Thank you for this wonderful gift of sharing your heart centered journey. It certainly is a wonderfully profound reminder!!!
Always great to hear from you. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing this, Gail, it is simple but hugely important. I definitely needed to hear this message, perfect timing. Love you a lot, my friend.
it hits hardest when it is a family member younger than you. Things that once were extremely important become trivial by comparison with living my life now as i want to. Beach walks take the place of keeping everything neat and clean. Being with people is more important than, say, painting the house or cleaning the carpet or making additional money. Reading becomes more important than work. Writing takes over other things.
Hi Ellie, my friend,
Blueprints of our lives are at least 120 years long. Keep moving forward Ellie you’ve got another 34 years ahead……
Thanks for your nice note.
As I am happily surviving over 86 years, I have had many Lego Moments and somehow have managed to survive each one…Thank you God… I love and appreciate every minute of my life…. Keep up the good work Gail…
What wonderful comments. Thank you all for writing such heartfelt and thoughtful words. I have always said coming to earth teaches us two key lessons. One is learning to work with emotional energy–everything here has an emotional charge–and the other is learning to work with free will choice–of the mind. Earth is a hothouse for creating choices and learning from them and then dealing with all kinds of emotions. What a place. We all are in the same soup! Once we understand it was always about “working with emotions” and “making choices”, we can understand the bigger picture of why we ever came here. Perhaps, in another incarnation, I’ll go for the planet where I just work on the intellect. Thank you again for the continual love poured out by all of you. We are in this together.
Gail, thank you for a heartfelt and insightful post. I have let stress, anxiety and exhaustion rob me in the past, too. Sending you lots of love, hugs and healing white light to comfort you as you grieve the loss of your beloved son, Kyle.
Gail, I so appreciate that you are real enough with your followers to speak about and share your most honest feelings. Often our gurus become so other worldly that they are put on a pedestal by their followers, and as a result become almost unrelatable. It is comforting you have shared this with us. I think doing that is very healing for you and certainly for your followers because Everyone of us can identify at times in our lives of having a profound sense of loss, sadness, and a feeling of what is it all about. This makes you very real and identifiable to us. Your doctor sounds like a wonderful healer, and you as always, a very insightful teacher.
You are fortunate to have a caring and astute physician who sees the value of discussing all arenas of your health, and his awareness in this situation of your son’s passing and his probing regarding your right (and your will) to live. My heart goes out to you on the loss of your son and I appreciate your thoughtful and meaningful reflections herein.
Gail, this is such a moving post. Your own story and experience make it almost excruciating. I love the comment made by Khelly. I am being certified in an intervention for PTSD, and part of the script we follow is a suicide prevention protocol, where we are prepared to ask, “Is it that you don’t want to live, or is it that you want to die?” When people see that they don’t want to be dead, but that they don’t feel willing or able to live, they can close the door to suicide. I think it could also be a way to close the door to the insidious side of grief that makes us feel that we don’t have a right to live. Your doctor has obviously learned about this. Thank you for sharing.
My heart hurts for you. However, your son has something we do not, he is FREE!
As always you go to the heart of what matters and what is on the mind of many. Thank you for sharing so openly of yourself. “The right to live?” While we are here, we are destined to live, but the challenge can come in joyfully embracing and saying “yes” to life, minute by minute. Your reminder to let go of stress and exhaustion and embrace the changes that support your right to live couldn’t be more pertinent. I appreciate you Gail. You are a blessing.
Love to you, Vikki
Ahhh Gail, you have so hit the nail on the head. This is such a common issue that there is an protocol addressing it for PTSD. It is not a talk therapy. It addresses the neurophysiology of the emotions as detected by our senses of sight, sound, taste, smell, tactile feeling and posture. Your personal declarative was ” do I deserve to live?” We add to that “I am OK living, I want to live, I am supported by others to live, I am ready, willing and able to live, I belong living, It is safe for me and others to live, etc. Each is said in the contest of the senses. One can journal these or talk them out or tap them out or work with those of us trained to do this physical work.
We also differentiate between grief and loss which are on the lung meridian in acupuncture and depression which is on the gall bladder meridian.
Most of us are in high states of grief and loss for a way of life, image, unrequited dreams and love, etc. I figure we are lucky to be as sane as we are.
I suggest that we cry for 5-15 minutes a day to release the stress hormones. Heavy breathing and exercise work too. It is a trick used by reporters and medical people on sites of ravaged human life like war and natural disasters.
Many blessings to you. Thank you for all that you do. Your Santa Ana seminar touched several of my clients.
Aah, you’re hitting me in the ‘I’m not worth it” part of my brain. I was surprised to hear how unhappy you were and still felt like you had the right to live. I guess I have some work to do! My anger was always turned inward. Now that I am older, it comes out both ways at times.
I can get as far as “I am meant to be here because I AM here.”
When my daughter passed away, I did come to terms that her time on this earth was not as long as my time, and I felt like she had made a great deal of progress in 22 years, and that if she had lived she might have had Aids, (her boyfriend was HIV positive) and it was 1980. Maybe she was spared, and I was spared going through that heartache.
Now I feel better. Do I have the right to live? You’re darn right I do. I’m here, aren’t I?
I hear you and wish for others that they realize how precious life is and not wait until something comes to hit them from behind. Then again, if blindsided they get out of their abyss sooner than later!
Thanks Gail M!!
Sorry for your loss.
Your remarks are an excellent reminder to live in the moment & be grateful. Thank you for your continuing service to the planet.