Life Lessons from a Zombie, Part 7: Dr. Seuss + Thoreau on Being Undead
Welcome to Mental Space Monday! Where we journey inside the rabbit hole of collective consciousness and submit to the whims of curiosity.
Welcome back Zombies, zombie-lovers and zombie-curious! Here it is, part 7 of my Zombie Diaries series! – In case you are just tuning in, we are tapping into the secrets of life through the un-dead perspective using the 10 traits exhibited by people who have had near death experiences. Near death for me includes emotional, psychological, life-altering moments that, while our hearts may never have stopped beating, we certainly feel like we have died; divorce, loss of a loved one, loss of a job; anything that is so mind-altering that we re-examine all assumptions and beliefs we previously carried around with us through life. This week’s un-dead insight:
Zombie Trait #7: A value of life and love.
Whether you believe we spiritually chose to be in this life or not, once we get on this train ride we are stuck on a one way track with no emergency break. And as lovely as the view is and as yummy as the food tastes, sometimes we can get a little resentful at our lack of control over the momentum. I find that over time I start to take the forward progress for granted. I start to feel angsty and stressed. I feel trapped; forced into my current situations. I reach a point where I no longer feel my own velocity. You know, like how we are screaming along at 1037 mi/hr just standing on the earth? (On the equator, anyway).
But then something happens. You lose someone, something, even some belief that you have carried with you thus far on your journey and you are knocked flat. You have the zombie virus and there is no turning back – you become feverish, you start to drool at the thought of raw intestines … Ok, that’s just the fun part. This “death” that you undergo stops you in your tracks. you are hit square in the face with The brevity of life, of humanity, hits you … it all comes to a screeching halt. Time stands still, you lose your breath and suddenly miss that which once seemed so tedious.
(Talk to the Instagram generation about this one – and check out this video by Jason Silva on the topic.)
Regardless of the form they take in our lives, near-death experiences bring us to that chest-binding, brain-blinding moment when we actually doubt that life will continue. We begin to reminisce about all we took for granted and all we will never have the chance to experience again. The wonderful things we had are a phantom limb that we still want to itch but have no way of doing so. All of a sudden, we love that damn train ride. We love the uncertainty and the stupid music they play and wish we could have one more chance. One more go-round. Even just a ride to the next station. Thoreau said, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” And this is now painfully clear at the moment when we think we have run out of currency.
BUT THEN we are given new life. We resurrect ourselves, we rise from our own ashes. We may not look quite as rosy now that we are zombies. Especially at first we appear a little shell-shocked and have new scars that mar our skin from here on out. But somehow the sun rises again and somehow we find a way to see possibility and promise and find a way to embrace the pain of existence as if it were ecstasy … as long as we can keep doing it. We create a brand new existence that is founded now on a commitment to never again forget what it feels like to waste the moments we exchange for our experiences.
Also, check out this Shots of Awe about why love hurts – sounds vaguely familiar as we discuss feeling that we could lose the things we value at any moment. Watch for the death reference as well – Go Zombies!
Embrace the delusion; enjoy the results. Have a wonderful day my lovelies.