Time is an odd thing – it seems that we never have enough of it when we’re enjoying something, but it drags on endlessly when we’re stuck in the muck. Our rational mind knows that a minute is a minute, an hour is an hour, and yet we struggle because we resist doing the obvious – being in the moment.
When we’re in a situation we enjoy, all too often we become fixated on whether it will last or when it will end. This accomplishes little of any value when you consider the effort (and time) it takes away from whatever it is we supposedly are enjoying or cherish.
How many Sundays have been ruined by thoughts of Monday? How many romantic moments have been sullied by lack of certainty? How many ice cream cones have lost that much of their taste appeal as you sighed at its eventual finish?
It may be easier to see what we’re losing when we shortchange the pleasurable moments in life, but how can it possibly be that wanting to be out of a painful moment is of benefit to us as well? I mean, come on, we’ve sent the card with that little pussycat clinging to the branch when folks we care about are going through tough times, and we cheer them on with a hearty “Hang in there!”, keeping their eyes firmly on the time when their NOT hanging on for dear life. I mean, really??? Am I saying be in THAT moment too???
In a word – yes.
Have you ever lost someone you love and felt the grief well up inside you until you thought you’d burst? You can feel the tears and the pain brim over but you know you need to carry on for the kids, for your spouse, for your family, because you have a job to do, because you’re in a public place, because it’s just an inconvenient or inappropriate time…
And so you push it back down and the moment is over; you’ve gotten through it and now you’re ready to get on with your life again. You hung in there!
Until the NEXT time you come across someone who has suffered a loss, or you suffer another loss, or you’ve just had a wonderful moment of relaxation where your defenses were down and wham! Here come those tears again, here comes that loss, the pain.
Staying in such painful moments allows our minds and psyches to do something truly miraculous. We can allow ourselves to simply feel, to acknowledge the loss and to connect the loss to the reality of the good times we were fortunate enough to have had. In this way we honor both the loss and the blessings of what we shared with that person.
There are many other examples, but I chose that one in particular because it’s one I know so well and one which I need to remember from time to time.
We have a choice that we make each day, whether consciously or not – to live in the moment we are in right now, hide in the past, or put our lives on hold as we await some future point in time.
Your present, your right-now-not-tomorrow-not-next-year-not-when-you-turn-whatever-years-old is a precious gift. Give yourself THAT present and live it as fully as you possibly can.