Rick and I, and our daughter, Lindsay, are hanging out together this afternoon waiting for the eye of Hurricane Matthew to hit. Our son, Ryan and his family are close by, and safe, hosting and housing friends who had to evacuate. It is projected to be its worst in the next 3 or 4 hours. So far, it’s not too bad. We have sheltered in place and are more than ready for whatever comes, but we are enjoying cooking, baking, listening to music. We are glad to be together, with a safety plan in place for any number of scenarios.
We are not looking past today.
I want to take a moment and thank Brad Paisley for the beautiful anthem to, and titled, TODAY. As I listened to the lyrics and melody…intently watching the video…I was moved to tears. You nailed it, Mr. Paisley, when you sing:
“I know it won’t always be like this…life can change as quick as a kiss…”
Yes. It is always that way. Impermanence. This, too, shall pass. Always.
It inspired me to expand on this notion. So, here is the similar theme I have been working to refine, and share, with others for a while now. From our loss of Casey so suddenly in 2014, and reflecting on my experience caring for people who are seriously sick and/or dying, for over 25 years, I have learned this:
TODAY, or more notably RIGHT NOW, is where life happens.
To look backwards to the past with regret or thoughts of “could have, should have, would have” is to suffer. Wishing things to be other than exactly as they are, is to suffer. We cannot go backward. The past is gone, done, and out of our control.
The same goes for looking forward with worry. Worry of what might be or not be. This, too, is a place of suffering. The future is a space and time that we can try to plan for, but inevitably, have very little control over the final outcome of most of it.
The intertwining of joy and sorrow is for the living and happens in the now.
RIGHT. THIS. MOMENT.
In every now we have control over how we meet it…even if it is labeled as “bad”…there is good there for harvest. The tapestry of joy and sorrow is woven tight, and the threads are inseparable.
Where you put your focus, and your attitude towards all of it, remains the key. The air in your lungs…the laugh or smile of someone you love…anything you can appreciate with your senses.
Even when it seems that you are living your worst nightmare; in the eye of your own personal storm, focus on the now, come into the present moment, and…here is the clincher:
Don’t wish it to be anything other than what it is.
When you take control of your attitude or outlook, and don’t look to the past or future, you minimize or cease suffering. Acceptance and surrender, in the eye of the storm, to WHAT IS NOW. To do so will set you free.
Again, it does not mean you don’t experience any sorrow, but as noted, it is intertwined with joy…both gifts of life here on Earth…found only in the now…in TODAY.
Joy and sorrow…the seeds of love.
Love always wins…and so it goes.