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Last Friday afternoon as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, I came across a photo of Daisy Lewellyn, reality TV star (“Blood Sweat and Heels”), writer and “Queen of effortless chic,” accompanied by three words which transformed a casual IG visit into much more: “Rest In Peace.”
What? Dead at 36? Really?!?! As I sat stunned, my mind moved rapidly to digest the weight of it all. I vaguely remembered hearing she had cancer, but assumed, like many of us, she would beat it.
Her infectious spirit and laughter illuminated the screen, week after week. And then, suddenly, as Daisy’s life overflowed with promise and accomplishment it ended.
Do We Know What it Means to Live Fully?
People often say “live life to the fullest.” But does any of us understand what this means? What living alive and ON purpose actually looks like? Have we unpacked it for ourselves?
Our society worships adventure in theory (and vicariously through pop culture), but in daily practice, we shun dreams and vision, instead quietly training our children to die at 25 with this ethos: get a degree, work endlessly, procreate, and save responsibly for retirement. Exist, we insist, through our fearful reassurances, and leave the living to a privileged few.
Daring to Live Greatly
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. – Theodore Roosevelt
But what if we lived each day as if it were the last, stubbornly clinging to unrelenting courage? Priorities would shift; sitting in misery and sameness would become uncomfortable. Do we have to face a terminal disease to start living? Absolutely not! Begin your journey towards wholeness and being present in the now.
The longer I read articles and explored her social media feeds, I began to realize something. Daisy’s death taught me two vital lessons about living:
People Remember Your Energy, Not Your Words – We often think folks remember what we said, when actually they recall far more how you make them feel.
The energy we bring to the world is the final and lasting imprint of our legacy. Daisy’s bubbly nature encouraged so many around her, like this young journalist at Essence who held on to an uplifting phone text from her for months.
And so our question and daily challenge becomes are we birthing an energy of healing, love, and beauty? Are we illuminating the planet in our unique way?
Be Led by Faith Always & Don’t Be Afraid of Stillness – Daisy’s Christian faith remained a cornerstone in her life. As she grew ill, her closeness to God became stronger. Instead of pushing away out of anger she got still, centered and connected to God.
Celebrate Moments, Not Destinations – Don’t wait until you overcome an obstacle or setback to celebrate. Honor yourself for showing up; consider your perseverence in the face of the odds to be victorious, because, lovelies, it is amazing!
Talk to Me, Loves:
What life lessons can you learn from others around you about living more fully? Do you struggle to honor joy in the midst of struggle?