Did you know that the stars in our galaxy come in many different sizes and luminosity? In fact, our own star, the sun, is very small in comparison to the majority of the stars in our universe.
I was lucky enough to grow up in a small town where there is little light pollution, so star gazing was one of my favorite pass times. There is nothing more breath taking then watching the dark velvet sky splattered with so many stars it literally makes your heart stop.
It’s true that some stars shine brighter than others. In fact, the brightest stars are not only the largest, they have the shortest life span. This is because they burn through their fuel quickly, very much like a large vehicle burning its fuel quickly in order to produce energy and burn through your wallet. I also read somewhere that we are made from the same stuff stars are made out of, and well, that just made me feel giddy inside.
I mean, technically that means we are all stars! All shiny and twinkly and well, different from all the others too. Some do shine more brightly than others, and some live a long time and some barely shine for a moment, before they die, because even stars have to die.
And doesn’t this little astronomy lesson give us a bit of a metaphor for life and death? I mean, we may never understand why we have to die, or what the whole meaning of life is, only that we feel the immense joy of new life and the immense pain of losing life. What I find the most interesting is when a star dies, it usually explodes and expands and sometimes shines brighter or creates a black hole.
And so it is with us, right? I mean when someone dies, we tend to see that person’s life in a more luminated way don’t we? Suddenly we realize just how far and wide and bright this person shone while living- if the person was good of course, and I do believe the majority of us are good. We see the smile, the laughter, the tears, the prayers, the struggles, the achievements, the emotions, in a whole other light.
And just like those stars that shine the brightest, the people who also seem to live their life the brightest among us, have the shortest life span. And I can’t think of any worse kind of tragedy in our world.
So with all that pain and confusion and anger and sadness of losing someone too soon, I think we need to listen to the way they lived their life. We need to remember that these people showed us that it is not about the duration of our life, but the donation of it. It is not about how long we live, but how we live that matters the most.
I think we need to stop attaching the “missing out” experiences as the losses that pain us. Does it really matter if I never see the Eiffel Tower? Does it really matter if I never earned that degree? Does it really matter that I ride in a hot air balloon? Bucket lists are great, but they are not what makes our life worth living. Nobody ever says, “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) on their death bed. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t go and have adventures, but what makes those adventures worth it is WHO are doing it with. When you stop and reflect about a person’s life, you tend to realize that their love, their LIGHT is what mattered the most, not what they did.
So I leave you with my favorite poem, in which explains that our light was not meant to be hidden.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were all meant to shine as children do.
It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.