Clichés, Such as Making the Most While We Can


I have recently been surrounded by loss and grief, sickness and death.

These are trademarks of the cycle of life: ineludible, compulsory. None of us will escape them. We contend, we deepen; we keep going. You know just what I mean.

As a result, my consciousness is presently permeated with all those decadently apt clichés instructing us to appreciate moments while they're here, to share important sentiments with the folks we want to hear 'em while we've got the chance, and to feel our emotions to their fullest.

Clichés are cliché for good reason, after all, and I have recently gotten much supportive mileage from reaffirming my connections with those people I love the most, telling them directly how much they mean to me, and freely crying out my sadness. Sadness lately hovers heavy over the day-to-day. Some moments, it devours the drive to do. At others, the doing becomes a welcome distraction.

And the one about how these instances of weighty transition, of jarring discontinuity or irreversible turn, help us nab a renewal in perspective on what really matters… well, that one has always poignantly spoken to me, in the voice of a silver-lining truth that underscores the inspiration and motivation which can often accompany painful change.

Once our life has been disrupted by the ticking hands of fate, even if not by choice or against our wishes, we are faced with an opportunity to continue the 'disruptions'… to make risky moves that, in ordinary circumstances, we might not dare make, out of fearful resistance or apathetic refusal to stir the pot. But hell! When the pot's already being stirred, the everyday routine shanghaied by emotional chaos, the illusion of security neutralized by an up-close-and-personal confrontation with life's fleeting delicateness, why not throw in the other tiles and start over again with a clean slate?

There seems so much less to lose when you're already facing loss. In the disarray, you are forced to create. You must rebuild from the ashes. Otherwise, you give in to the 'bitter'—and forego the 'sweet' that'll come along if you let it.

It was in those tender weeks following 9/11 during which I decided to quit my mainstream job and take a sharp left turn toward professional astrology. In the sorrowful aftermath of that day's event, I realized I couldn't waste any more precious time on work I didn't believe was making the world a better place. It took me more than six months to finally depart, in order for me to feel I was 'leaving clean' (i.e., finishing up important projects, organizing my duties for my successor). But that life-changing decision—and the emotional backdrop that initially inspired it—was present every one of those workdays leading up to my exit.

The occasion of one person's passing, and the tremendous emotions triggered by it, can move us to get back in touch with someone else from our past, so we may at last address the 'unfinished business'. The finality of death reminds us to speak now or forever hold our peace. Or would we rather sit on the regret, though we'd had the chance to do something about it and opted to not?

The loss of a job throws us so far out of our comfort zone, we may totally lose our footing. But in racking our brains to decide what's next, the net we end up casting could prove to be much wider than we'd ever seriously imagined. Perhaps this is the call to pack up the whole enterprise and move somewhere else. To be closer to your loved ones (or further from your smothering family)? To experience better weather, different culture, cheaper real estate, a livelier job market, new friends? To quench your curiosity? To reinvent yourself?

An absence of financial resources strikes fright in our hearts, and justifiably so. When we lack sufficient money to satisfy our needs, we must reassess what it is we actually 'need' and/or humbly ask for help from our community of supporters. Maybe this is also the time to root out costly, wasteful habits that offer us no healthful benefit. Maybe we develop an enhanced intimacy with certain individuals who, in this moment of need, prove themselves to be more special than we'd ever really known. We expose our vulnerabilities to them and permit ourselves to receive their care. The exchange brings value to all parties.

When an important relationship ends, it can feel like life itself is over. As we mourn the 'us' that once was, we also reacquaint ourselves with an independent 'me' which had been in partial dormancy. No matter how fantastic a coupling, we necessarily sacrifice bits and pieces of our individuality on behalf of the relational unit. Once single again, we may reclaim traits we downplayed, lifestyle habits we sacrificed, or spare-time interests we shrank from when our prior partner expressed little support. When we reemerge into the dating world, we might choose to pursue a type of person radically different than our ex—and learn different relationship lessons, while having different facets of our personality fostered and fed.

And at the scary juncture of a decline in health, we glare straight into the eyes of mortality. There isn't a more direct invitation to appreciate what we presently have than the looming threat of its finiteness. If we cannot muster the courage to finish out our days to the fullest, we instead cede our last living memories to anticipatory worry or fruitless discontent.

Needless to say, it doesn't take an impending fatal diagnosis to cut it all off. As quickly as 'six-months-to-a-year' turns into one breathlessly short week, we might step into the street at just the wrong instant and meet our maker head-on. More clichés: Life really is that short, and we really should make the most of it while we can.

At this 'turning' toward the relentless celestial intricacies of mid-2010, many will undoubtedly experience the onslaught of multiple planetary aspects crunching in on us from all sides. In the midst of this awesome astrology will manifest countless illustrations of loss and grief, natural effects of the unyielding pressure to evolve or decay, to press on valiantly or crumble under the shock. None of us will emerge untouched.

I sincerely hope a good number of us will seize the emotional strain as our impetus to reach further toward what will ultimately satisfy our souls… to embrace the loss and grief as carriers of wisdom, upon whose woeful wings ride reminders of what and who we most value… to inspire us to properly prioritize what's truly important now, and to kindly kick the other crap out to the curb where it belongs, claiming our lives for the significance we desire.