Last Day Serenity

What if we all dropped our masks at the same time?

What if, when you woke up tomorrow, everyone around you told the truth about their lives, their marriages, their financial situations, their kids?

What if, when you went to work, it was okay for ANYONE to ask for help, for support? What if there weren’t any repercussions for speaking up at meetings, for telling the truth about how things were really going? What if you weren’t afraid to be the kid at the Emperor’s Parade to display his New Clothes?

What if all our candidates and representatives started telling the truth? What if they could only talk about what they could bring to the job instead of what’s wrong with the other person?

Have you ever been with someone when they were making their transition on their last day? What really mattered to them at that point?

What if you could fast-forward to the last day of your life? Your spouse’s life? You know, sort of like the way the Ghost of Christmas Future took Ebeneezer Scrooge to meet his maker. But in this case, your own Spirit of Goodness took you to your last day and you could really see and feel in your heart of hearts the serenity that must come when nothing else matters but the love and peace you have given and received.

Would you still be angry at anyone? Would you still hold a grudge? Would you still be afraid about money, retirement, the kids – anything at all?

I believe that all turmoil will be resolved on that day – my last day. And, believing that, I try and borrow a bit of the serenity I know will be there that day. I try and see myself, unfettered by fear and resentment and disappointment of any kind.

Because you and I both know it will no longer matter then.

Anyway, I try and see my future me – totally free of all that – and then, I try to bring that spirit of forgiveness into THIS day.

Here’s the thing, Sweet Pea, if none of it is going to matter in the end, why does it matter today? @Jennifer_Boykin (click to tweet)


P.S. In the Wisdom Circle space below, please tell us what totally important thing is bothering you today that won’t matter one whit in the end. Can you “act as if” you have Last Day Serenity today?

P.P.S.  Please join our amazing tribe of women making big changes.  To get updates and our eRetreat, Reclaim the Sass,” let us know how to reach you.


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21 Responses to Last Day Serenity

  1. Sandi Reagan says:

    Jennifer, your straight up common sense approach to this site is wonderful. And, you’ve helped me already (new memeber) with all the posts I’ve read. I guess my question is; Any advise for when your so in the emotional hole no matter how you try you keep slipping back in. After years and years of being “beaten up” if feels like anyway, added to the fact that I’m now 60 which brings on a whole new attitude of say what and when you want and if you like it fine, if not, I don’t really give a damn! But the depression seems to keep me being angry ALL the time. I don’t want to be this way but don’t know how to climb out of that hole. Any articles or advise?????
    THANK YOU !!!!!!!

    • Jennifer says:

      Sandi, Please make sure you see your doctor for a full medical workup. Make sure you discuss your feelings and see if you are having some trouble with depression that warrents medication. I am not qualified to speak on that.

      However, what I can say is that loving yourself again is a process. Hope is a process. And, if you can, everyday try to find one or two lovely moments and really lean into those. Then, gradually expand that feeling into the next moment. And then the next. Then the next.

      Also, try to do one nice thing for someone else each day — and don’t get caught. Doing this will help you build the critical SKILL of gratitude. And, you will see that your life matters.

      The more you see that your life matters, the more you will do things that matter to you.

      Please come back. Let us know how you are, love. Jen

  2. Beth says:

    What wonderful thoughts to start the day/week. For me, if it were my last day, nothing would matter except love. The people I love and the people who love me. And I would make sure they knew how much they meant to me. Fear in and of life would not exist (maybe fear of death, but not fear of life). I just finished reading, and highly recommend to all, “Dying to be Me,” by Anita Moorjani. The main message from the book- “live your life fearlessly.” I try to remember to do that everyday.

  3. Carol Hess says:

    Beth’s comment reminded me of my father’s last day. He had been pretty out of it for a couple of days because of the morphine and progression of his disease. Then the afternoon of what would be his final day, he was completely lucid and himself again. He called in all the nurses to thank them for the care they had taken of him, he urged my mother and I to take care of each other, he told us how much he loved us, he talked about how he wished he had spent less time working and more time with us (he worked the occasional week night or Saturday). In other words, it was all about love. The scene that afternoon in my father’s hospital room are burned in my memory as one of the purest, most unconditionally loving moments in my life, and I feel very blessed to have experienced it. (Thank you, Dad. I love you and miss you.)

    • Jennifer says:

      Carol, thank you so deeply for sharing such a beautiful, touching story with us. Thank you for allowing us to catch a bit of the serenity and joy from that day. Blessings, love. Jen

    • Pam says:

      This brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing. I agree that was pure and unconditional love, the greatest gift a parent can give a child. You are fortunate to have had such a great dad.

  4. Linda says:

    Brilliant, Jen! This is a reminder I can hear every single day Nd. Of tire of it!

  5. janice says:

    Your gorgeous, heart-opening piece, Jen, plunged right to the center of my Being just now. I woke up with such a fog around my soul (in the same kind of boat, it sounds like, as you, Sandi). And, your message just blasted through that morning fog like a Lighthouse. My husband’s last day was a very similar profound experience like yours, Beth And, I thank you so much for sharing as it got me to rewind my mind and feelings to that moment with him and put it ALLLLL into perspective. He and I spoke without vocalizing the words (because he was unable to talk). I was prompted to write about this amazing experience and have still not done it. All this other stuff I’m stuck in is real enough, but goofy when the real Light of truth shines on it all. I will re-reading this as my morning meditation daily this week. How do I thank such noble and courageous women such as you? I guess by following in your footsteps, one baby step at a time, if that’s what it takes. But, what you all expressed makes me feel like leaping, not bloody crawling. You have blessed my day–God bless
    yours as well.

  6. Bonnie says:

    You never cease to amaze me Jen with your insight at such a ‘young’ age. What touched a cord here, that for the past 5 years I have been disappointed with my life. Why, b/c it did what life often does when we hit 50, threw me a curve ball. Unexpected illness, loss of income, loss of identity … yet I know I have lived a blessed life … I always say “if I die tomorrow I have nothing to complain about.” But I’m looking at that from what life has given me NOT from the angle of what I have given back to life/others. Maybe that’s the real reason I feel disappointment, it’s not in my life but in myself. Thank you for presenting this thought provoking post.

  7. Priska says:

    I have started being more honest than I was in the past, must have something to do with being over fifty. I never knew how to be more honest before because I was worried about hurting someone or losing something (such as my job).
    These days I find that if I am mindful of how things are being said, if it is said with loving kindness and without judgment, it is not so hard being more truthful.

  8. Jan in Asheville says:


    Thanks for this reminder. I just had the most incredible experience of my life in the passing of my dear friend Bobbe in San Juan Islands of Washington state. They have a right to die with dignity and grace as a law, thank you very much!!! Bobbe was diagnosed with lung cancer that had already gone to her brain in September 2011. She asked if my partner and I could be there for her passing to render support to her two adult children and three grand kids. To be PRESENT and I MEAN PRESENT! was an incredible gift of living a day at a time. She showed me the true meaning of living a day at a time and what is really important. And no big surprise! It is loving and being loved by those we care about! Our family, our friends, our four-leggeds, ourselves. It is good to know that death with dignity are not just words, Bobbe lived it! Although I am still raw from the experience of losing my mentor and friend of 30 years, I am living each day. One at a time. It is all I got.
    Peace to you all,

  9. Cindy says:

    I looked up “bitterness” on google this morning after I checked into my group on facebook and there was a clip of a Dad who was talking about his grief with his 2 year old daughter who died from cancer, the man was a comedian. I lost my beautiful 18 year old daughter seven and half years ago and went right through menopause after my complete breakdown. Since then I have been through many therapeutic sessions with my husband and son and also by myself. I started writing a book five years ago and have a hope of completing it but I get distracted easily. In many ways my life ended when my daughter was killed but my anger and outrage also have kept me alive. I would like to have my book published before that final day and have already paid for the publishing services. When that day comes, it won;t matter really of my book is published or not but it would make me feel as though the last seven and a half years were not wasted in bitterness and anger and grief. Grief is such a selfish pastime and those of us who are forced to go through it have no choice and in the end we wonder if any of our efforts would make a difference or if we are just fooling ourselves.

    • Jennifer says:

      Oh, beautiful Cindy, I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter also died, though she was a newborn. So I think I know what you mean when you talk about the “wasted” years.

      Except now I see that they weren’t. At some point, I knew I had to decide — Bitter? or, Better?

      I can see that you’re choosing Better, too, but, as I found, that choice is trickier to implement than one might believe.

      You ARE doing it, though. The book is evidence of that. You’ve lost someone precious. But through that loss, you’re giving birth to something else.

      It will never come close to being the same thing. I call this the Spiritual Booby Prize of loss and suffering.

      But, we honor our daughters if we can get there. Because we make their time here matter. Mothering them changed us. Losing them did as well.

      So we bring that change into the world, and whether the world sees it our not, we KNOW that how we live today has been enriched by the girls who are gone.

      I wish you every blessing. I’m holding your beautiful fragile heart in my prayers today.

      Please, please come back and let me know how you are doing.


      • Cindy says:

        Thank you Jen. Learning how to define my loss on my own terms has been my challenge. Never thought I would be here, but here I am, really do “like” what you have accomplished and thank you for allowing me to glean from your wisdom.

    • Pam says:

      Grief is a trickster. Everyone experiences it differently. Because of self-help books, we THINK that it’s these stages, a process and it’s over and back to normal. At least after my mom was shot and killed by her estranged husband, that’s what I thought. I clicked off those stages, like they were a to do list. The truth is that even now, almost 15 years later, I can think of my mom. Being dead. From a bullet. And I am as shocked as I was the moment I got the horrible phone call telling me it had happened. Same with grief. Sometimes, that my mom is gone and so young, and frankly, selfishly, that I can’t call her and talk to her, hits me with the same force as it did in the early days. The good news is that while it can still crop up, it doesn’t stay as long. I realized long ago that normal was gone and that I just had to move into the next phase of life, and I do have a good life. It helped me when grandkids came along, and I could see proof positive that life goes on, with or without us, and whether or not we are happy. I’m very sorry for your loss. There’s no greater loss than the loss of a child, and I can’t begin to know how that feels. I say feel what you need to feel. Wallow, momentarily if you need to wallow, but always get up and move forward. I’ve also been trying to write a book for years now. Today is my birthday, and I’ve made a commitment to give myself the birthday gift of three pages a day. xoxoxo. Pam

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