“Suppose someone says, ‘I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. I had opportunities I did not grasp.’ Every man has this feeling at some time in his life. This is a direct belief that there is but one opportunity which comes to man and if he does not take it, he will have no more. This is a belief in limited opportunities and it must be denied completely and specifically. It is not that we have made no mistakes, but if the belief in the necessity of mistakes stays in the consciousness, then there is bound to be a repetition.” Ernest Holmes
Think about this and the sense it makes. We have limitless choices every day and we do not take every one. To say, that we have lost our chance because we didn’t decide in the moment to do a certain thing would be like saying the world stops giving us opportunities. It would be condemning, never being able to make up for a past mistake. The God I know does not look at our mistakes and condemn us for them. That is an old worn out believe. However, we sometimes do.
I know that there have been times in my life that I didn’t take the opportunity in front of me. I remember a specific moment when I decided to walk away from a degree in theater and go instead to into teaching. I knew in that moment that I was going against what I was really feeling in my heart. So, I went on to get a teaching degree, but I never lost my love for theater and the arts. And, since that time, I have had a many other opportunities to express myself in the arts. I did not lose a chance. Maybe, I lost that particular chance, but the chance presented itself to me again, as soon as I decided to open up to it. However, I could have easily told myself the opposite. I could have later in life denied myself the opportunity to rethink my passion and re-decide. I didn’t, and you do not have to either.
There is a common saying: “You only live once.” (Y.O.L.O). I happen to believe we live many lives, not just through eternity, but through time and space in this life here. I believe there is a path that we follow that we carve out for ourselves. We walk it and sometimes we make decisions that seem to deny us an opportunity in that moment. However, what I know is that if something is meant for me, I will find it again. I have witnessed this in many people’s lives. My own mother found a new love after my father passed. She had the opportunity with her new love to do the many things that she never did with my dad. She didn’t give up just because she was almost 70. She had a whole new life that took her to her passing at 87.
Do we only live once? I do not believe this. I believe we are reborn in every moment again and again. We get to have new opportunities, to grow, to expand, no matter how old we are. I was having dinner with a scientist that studies our brains and he spoke of how our brains shrink as we get older. However, now they know that exercise, meditation and learning new things slows this process down. Many people live vibrantly passed the age that our parents retired or died. Evolution is an upward spiral.
There’s only one life. That life is God’s life. That life is perfect and unlimited and that life is yours and my life now. We get to decide how much of that life we want to live, how we want to live it, whether we want to cut it short or whether we want to start over in any moment. And, because life is eternal and can never be destroyed, I’m sure we go on eternally. That statement “Life goes on” that is spoken after someone passes away is also true for the person who has gone on. Life goes on and on.
What do you want for your life? Are you taking advantage of the opportunities presented to you or do you live in fear? Perhaps deciding that we only live once can bring a lot of passion to our life and maybe it can make us not defer our passions to another time. Maybe, believing we only live once will help us not procrastinate the things we’ve wanted to do but have put aside for a million different reasons. When we make a decision, we are totally supported by a Universal Law that only says yes to us. It will make the means and ways available to us if we are open and ready to listen and follow.
When I was young during my childbearing years, I wanted to have my children at an early age. There was a feeling within me that prompted me to do so. I felt deeply that if I had my children young, there was another life waiting for me when they were grown. That is exactly what happened. My life today is not a mirror reflection of what one would have thought I was destined to live as a sixty-nine year old. My life started new many times. When I was sixty I embraced a whole new career.
I think we should live our lives like we only live once, but at the same time, we should remember that the idea of “once” is a choice we make in every moment with every opportunity to presented to us. Ernest Holmes once wrote something about bringing spirit to living. It is not enough to sit on a mountain top and dream about our lives in meditation. We should feel like we can bring those dreams down to earthly living and fulfill them in a way that is best for us, knowing we are always supported.
I invite you to go forth and live your dreams no matter where you are, no matter what you are experiencing, no matter who you think is holding you back. It can definitely be healing to focus on your opportunities even in the midst of crisis. Crisis can be an opportunity to go deeper and discover our strengths and reasons to live.
The Universe is unlimited and we are the Universe. Ernest Holmes wrote this beautiful affirmation: ” I stand in the midst of eternal opportunity, which is forever presenting me with the evidence of its full expression.”
Let us live our lives once and once again in full expression.
Love and Aloha,
Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Spiritual Director CSL Kaua`i, Spiritual Coach