Carpé Momento – The Difference In Living And Being Alive
What does it mean to live? Is living the state of breathing? Does it simply mean your heart keeps beating? Or is living so much more than just being alive? Is it to exist or to thrive, to cohere to ourselves or fade and die? To die to what we feel inside and press on with life; pressed like a knife against the veins of existence? No, to be truly alive is so much more than living.
To be “Alive” and to “Live” are very different things. To be alive is when your body and mind are functioning at solely an operational level. The mind tells the heart to pump blood. The body inhales and processes oxygen, then exhales waste. The bodily function is there, but the emotional presence is entirely somewhere else. To truly live, function alone is never enough. There has to be a synchronization of the body to the mind, then to the spirit. It takes a completion of the chain to induce true “Living”.
Of course, living is not always easy. Sometimes living is a painful reality. It is much easier to numb away the bad with mindless distraction than to deal with the circumstances. Many would prefer to accept a happy apathetic middle than to ever experience the highs and lows of living. Of course, lows are seldom enjoyable, but they are our prime opportunities to learn what we are made of and to teach us how to be. Living is an emotionally taxing process But it takes the linkage from emotion to the spirit and the allowance of such emotion to differentiate a purpose deprived life from true, meaningful living. To be merely alive, one does not have to be aware or accepting of their reality, but to Live, one must give their body, mind, and soul (that is, spirit) to a process of synchronization. A state of coming togetherness where your mind is fully aware of the body, the body of the spirit, and the spirit to the world around it, embracing the moment that was just created. This is the same for joyous moments as much as it is for tragic.
A body that is only alive is too distracted by pleasing itself or too captivated by the mind’s errors of old, or of its fantasies to sincerely experience the moment it is in. It zones out of living and into an internal state of just breathing and doing, distracted by the flood of thoughts that hang like a carrot at the end of a stick while we run faster down the treadmill hoping to progress enough to get a bite.
Now, thinking and dreaming are not bad things. Quite the opposite! But it is the act of distraction and absent-mindedness from those important moments that separate true living from merely being alive. To look forward to the Christmas season or to think back on a time with an old friend is not the culprit, but once you begin to wish away your days to just get by is as far from living as death itself.
You see, our daily thinking, pondering, and meditating are a normal part of life. It is comfortable in the safety of our own minds. It feels like home; like a locked door in the face of an oncoming assault. But to constantly retreat within one’s self and never allow the reality of the moment; to isolate your thinking is to rob us of our greatest enjoyment in life: Living.
There is beauty in boredom, ecstasy in simplicity, and a wonder in the mundane. Why look back on life wondering where all the time went? Work is certain, distractions are a surety, planning is beautiful, and dreaming is the foundation of the future but all you will ever have is the moment you are currently in. Hug your family, enjoy your cup of coffee as you watch the sunrise, talk, laugh, love, cry, think, ponder, dream… but honour every. single. moment.
Life is precious, We’d be damned to wish it all away.