Life is a Blessing & a Gift~Do You Live Yours that Way?

Aurora Borealis, the colored lights seen in th...
Aurora Borealis, the colored lights seen in the skies around the North Pole, the Northern Lights, from Bear Lake, Alaska (Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)

I’m deeply saddened and rocked to the core by the horrific event which took place in Aurora, Colorado. Life is a blessing and it’s difficult to find meaning in a senseless act of violence.  When something like this happens we tend to ask why or what was the motivation behind it but instead of asking why, maybe we should focus on the messages from the survivors, the victims and their families. Over and over we hear them say how precious life is. There is a wake up call for all of us which comes from this tragic, senseless moment in time.

Precious lives were lost and the lives of those who lost loved ones or were touched in some way by this event are forever changed. We as a nation rally around to send love, support and healing. We grieve with them and try to make sense of it all but are we listening and taking to heart the messages they are giving us? Let us listen and apply their messages to our own lives to honor those who lost theirs; Life is a blessing and a gift and to live each day as if it was your last.

Tragedies have the ability to open your eyes so you can re-evaluate what’s important in life. There are even those who survive to give you messages before they take their next step. Listen to what the survivors and families are saying and apply it to your life! They are sending messages loud and clear…every moment of your life is a blessing, it is precious and you never know when you will take your last breath. Are you living life to its fullest or are you caught up in struggle and negativity? Let us all find meaning and not let the messages go unheeded. Let us honor those who escaped death in one instance to bring us messages of life. Perhaps this was the very purpose they needed to fulfill before leaving this earthly plane.

Jessica Ghawi an aspiring journalist left a food court in an Eaton Toronto mall just moments before a gunman opened fire. On June 6th, 2012 she wrote a blog called Late Night Thoughts on the Eaton Center Shooting”. She wrote about life as a blessing. “I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.” Little over a month later she was killed in the Aurora Colorado theater. Take to heart and find meaning in her message. Live your life as if “every second of every day is a gift”

Nathen Taylor, a former U.S. Army Sargent served three tours of duty in the Middle East and was shot to death for no reason at all while sitting in a car in Lancaster, Los Angeles. Is there any meaning at all that he survived war and was shot just sitting in his car visiting a family member? He was blessed to survive and I’m sure his family felt blessed to have him home. Who knows how many lives he saved or the lives he touched once he returned home. He returned to fulfill his purpose and although we might not personally know what that purpose was there is meaning in his life and his senseless death.

Hilda Yolanda Mayol worked in a ground floor restaurant in the WTC and escaped death on 9/11/2001. She died merely 2 months later in November when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed killing everyone aboard. What was her message? Whom did she touch? Why did she survive in one instance and not the other? Only she as spirit knows what she came here to do but if we listen to our own hearts we will find our own purpose and fulfill it.

Think about these people and find meaning for yourself. Discover your own purpose. It is time to stop getting caught up in things you cannot control. It is time to let go of worry and enjoy the time you have here. It is time to fulfill your purpose; Live a life filled with love, enthusiasm and joy. Who knows how many lives you’ve touched, how many people you’ve helped or how you affected someone elses life because you passed them on the street and smiled. Enjoy life and live it to its fullest. Life is a blessing and a gift. Honor it and live it…you never know when you might take your last breath.~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel 2012 All rights reserved

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Commemorating 9/11

As the stories and images from 9/11 fill the airwaves we reflect upon not only the events of that day but how those events touched each of our lives in some way. Each and every one of us was affected in some way shape or form and each of us has a personal story about that day….

It was a beautiful sunny day in Chicago on September 11, 2001. I went out for a run and remember how the sun was playfully dancing on the grass, reflecting the crisp blue sky in the mirrored buildings and on the lake. Glancing up at the skyline and marveling at its magnificence I remember feeling happy yet at the same time, there was this nagging feeling I had to get home….

I cut my run short that morning. When I got home, I went into the kitchen ignoring the beeping of my answering machine, grabbed a cup of coffee and came back into the living room where I had left the TV on before I left. Charlie Gibson was on Good Morning America showing a clip of a plane hitting the first  World Trade Center building. I thought they were showing a trailer for a new movie coming out. “Are you kidding?” I thought, “Who would make a movie like that?”

In this case, truth is clearly more horrible than fiction. I sat down and watched live as the second plane hit. I went completely numb! This was no movie! It was happening and happening NOW! I sat in stunned silence watching the events in New York, DC & Pennsylvania unfold. Yes, I remember that morning clearly even 10 years later and I’m sure I’m not the only one. All over the world people came together. There was an outpouring of love and it seemed for a moment the world came together as a family.

We honor  the victims, survivors and everyone who rose in service on that day and in the days to follow.  Our heroes are the firefighters and police who went well beyond the call of duty to save lives. Many of them made the ultimate sacrifice…their lives. We feel connected in some way as Americans and it does not matter if we personally knew anyone involved. We grieve and wrap our arms around all who were directly affected yet who among us was not affected?

It saddens me that in the last few weeks I’ve read about conspiracy theories and more recently that first responders, Police, Firefighters etc  were not ‘invited’ to Ground Zero memorial ceremonies. I agree with the outrage. As one article put it “they weren’t invited on that day in 2001 either. They just showed up”. What would have happened if they didn’t respond until September 12th? How many more lives would have been sacrificed?

That said, this is not about a rant because I seriously think all of that must be put aside and our focus should stay on healing. It is time to put aside the judgements or we are no better than the terrorist who planned the attacks. It is time to stand tall and become a family again. For on that day in 2001 we were a family, grieving together, mourning together and watching a real life horror story.

This is a time to honor those who died and thank those in law enforcement, the Fire Department, the Military and anyone else who stepped up to go beyond the call of duty for their contributions and sacrifice on that day and since that day. It is time to embrace our loved ones and teach tolerance and love. It is a time to find peace within as we remember~Shine Your Light Debbie

©Debra Taitel  2011-2013 All rights reserved

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