COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Life is fragile

By Fred Cavaiani

During the past couple of weeks a number of young people have died suddenly. Whether it is someone old or young and it is a quick, sudden death we realize how fragile life is. None of us know how long we have to live. Life seems short and quick. The energy we spend in worrying about tomorrow is useless and superficial. The energy we spend in making the present moment peaceful and loving is valuable and profound.

Some people spend their lives bemoaning how bad the world is. Others spend a lot of energy wishing things were different. In this time of Presidential campaigning we live in the fantasy that a President has the powers of God and will change everything for the better. This happens every four years. The reality is that each of us is on our own journey through life and we make things better for ourselves and for the world by how we live in the present moment. The more time we spend in loving and meditating, the healthier we become. The energy we use to be angry and resentful at others and hold things against people becomes an unhealthy way to live. Loving people radiate peace. Angry, resentful and critical people send out a negative energy that creates dissension and conflict.

The more worried I become about the state of the country, the economy, or the world, the less energy I have to make the world a better place by my presence and by my words. Everything happens in the now of the present moment.

Listening to the radio just now I heard a doctor say that people who meditate twice a day for twenty minutes reduce their risk of a heart attack by 50%. He also said that meditation helps a person become more peaceful and loving. Wow. Maybe there really is something powerful about meditation and silence.

Last week I spent a couple of days in Shipshewana, Indiana. Coming back from a Wisconsin family reunion, my wife and I along with our daughters, their husbands and children (our five grandchildren) stayed at an indoor water park in this small Amish Indiana town. Every couple of minutes I would observe a couple in a cart with a horse clip-clopping down the road in no apparent rush. Cars would slow down. No one seemed in a hurry. Eating at the Amish restaurants was peaceful and relaxing. Being with our daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren was peaceful and relaxing. I don't think I have a vocation to become Amish or Mennonite but I did like the sense of 'slowing down.' Maybe that is their gift to the world.

As I sit here on our screened in porch looking over the woods by Port Austin, Michigan, there is a peacefulness as the wind rustles through the trees. It makes it very comfortable to type this article and think about life and what is most important. This is our summer weekend getaway. Quiet, reflective, peaceful and in no particular hurry to get something quickly completed.

As the years roll by I am beginning to realize that when I am not in a rush I am able to get many things completed. The more quiet time I take to deepen my relationship with God in prayer and meditation, the more energy I have to accomplish what is most important.

Life is fragile. I may be dead tomorrow. You may be dead tomorrow. What do I want to leave behind? I certainly do not want to leave behind an intense preoccupation with who should be President of the United States and how right or wrong each candidate or political party might be. I would like to leave behind that I was a peaceful and loving person who enjoyed being with you without trying to change you or convince you of anything. In this peaceful presence of being with you I would like to create the atmosphere for you to discover peace and love. Whatever you believe or do is unimportant. What is most important is how peaceful and loving I am toward you. Life is fragile. I want each moment of this fragile life to be filled with peace and love and bring this to you in a calm and loving manner.

The people in my life that have had the most influence on me seem to have this peaceful, loving presence about them. What a gift they have been to me.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

Published: Tue, Jul 17, 2012