I found the following piece to be very interesting. It got me thinking about our experience of life. I think the question does not negate beliefs in reincarnation, afterlife, or the soul. Instead, it is a challenge to live life with the idea that as specific life goes, as I am who I am currently, this is my eternity. I am particularly struck by the notion that she does not imply a global, live life better approach, rather, in this instant, you have eternity, so what are you doing with it. I do not have an answer to the question, nor am I sure there is an answer. Yet, as a point, of contemplation, this essay is well worth mulling over.
By Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
I came across a little piece of eternity the other day (there it is in the photo, above). Or, more precisely, it came across me. Tumbling towards me on the footpath. Blowin’ in the wind*.
Ok, so it was also just a loose page of a newspaper, blowing around the street, with an advertisement on it featuring a stone angel pointing towards a single word: “Eternity.”
Just a banal moment of dodging some floating flotsam on my way home. And a bit of a wake-up call.
What do you do when eternity comes barreling right down the street at you?
I picked it up. And could suddenly feel my heart beating. I took it with me.
What will you do with yours?
There’s a saying that you might have heard floating around a bit like that:
“Eternity is now.”
If it’s true, then what will you do with this gift of now that’s somehow, miraculously, inexplicably, landed in your lap?
And this one.
These are the sorts of questions that existential therapy asks you to ask yourself. To remember the paradoxical finiteness of this particular kind of eternity. Of you. To really sense yourself, in your life, in your relationships, on your timeline; and to feel the gravitas and the infinite joy of being alive to it all.
And gestalt therapy, too, asks you to step into your particular “now.” To be aware of the unique field you’re in. Of your body. Your senses. Your environment. The people whose lives weave through yours. All the things which touch you and all that you’re in relationship with.
As does mindfulness… eternally bringing you back to this moment and all that it holds. And this moment. Awakening you to the treasures you have right before you, rather than letting you pass them up for the mirage of “later.”
So what will you do with yours?
Just this little bit of it that’s right here?
Not necessarily the whole thing – not the crazy pressure to live a whole life “well” or to “get it right” or anything quite that mad or maddening.
Just this tiny moment that’s happened to blow your way down the street…
How will you inhabit it?
And how will you let it inhabit you?
*With apologies to Bob Dylan.
The ad that was on the newspaper was for Waverley Cemetary, which featured in a guest blog post I wrote for The Daily Undertaker, here.
Text and photo copyright: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She was the former editor of a journal on counselling and psychotherapy and she provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.