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Kevin Nixon : 'Get busy living or get busy dying...'

'Get busy living
or get busy dying…'

By Kevin Nixon

These are the immortal words spoken by actors Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in one of the most popular movies of our time, The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

The story is that Tim Robbins' character is locked in prison for 20 years for a crime that he did not commit. While in prison he is abused in many ways. But the ultimate abuse and crime is that prison and those who run it are out to break his positive spirit, something which he has managed to hold onto despite his experiences.

After 20 years though, he has had enough and sitting in the prison yard with Morgan Freeman's character (with whom he has been friends those 20 years), he decides that it's time to leave, time to get busy living or get busy dying. Ultimately, he escapes but before he leaves, he gives his friend the location to a map to find him once he (Morgan Freeman's character) is himself released from prison.

Some years later Morgan Freeman's character is indeed released. However, once out, he has trouble adjusting to the new world and he is fearful. His only consolation is that his friend is out there somewhere, and that's when the words "get busy living or get busy dying" of his friend echoes in his head and that's when he (Morgan Freeman's character) utters the second powerful line of the movie, "That's god dam right!" So, he decides to overcome his fear and finds his friend.

When you get right down to it, this is the quintessential choice that we all must make. Given that most of us are not encouraged to truly live, in an authentic way, we will at some point in our growth, have to make the decision to continue on the path of discouragement or leap into life.

Whether we are voluntary participants in the challenges of earthly life or whether we are simply someone else's creation, the fact remains that there is a lower and a higher way of living. The lower is basically the stuff of other's "good" opinions, how others think we should be. The higher is your true self, the true self that has a purpose, the true self that is talented, blessed and divine.

Your divinity is evident at your conception. Have you not realized that the glow that a pregnant woman exhibits is not emanating from the woman herself but is emanating from the pure, unspoiled, un-tampered being that is growing inside of her, the divine being that has not yet been corrupted by earthly programming? It is the essence of this new divine spark of life that merely reflects through the woman but be assured that it is this new life from which this glow, this radiance is emanating.

And, have not we all come through this process? Have we not all been divine sparks in our mother's womb? We have all been divine sparks. And, we are still divine sparks. We have simply consciously forgotten. But deep within our being the hunger to reach our potentiality still persists. We are still lit within, "that true light which lighteth every man the cometh into the world." — King James Bible [John 1:9]

There is no road to reaching your potential that will not challenge you. You may be figuratively or literally abused as Tim Robbins' character was. But really, where the expression of your potential is concerned, in the earthly realm, there are really only two choices, "get busy living or get busy dying…" •

© 2012 Kevin Nixon. All rights reserved.

Kevin NixonKevin Nixon is an author, speaker, and healer, specializing in the ancient healing modality know as Reiki. Kevin currently conducts creativity workshops and healing sessions in the Metro Atlanta area. More »