The one thing that gets in the way of living in the moment is pain, both the physical and mental pain that can plague us. If you have not read part 1 of Memento Vivere, please do so now by clicking here.
I heard a woman who had lost a child say this recently, and it stuck with me. “We don’t owe pain any loyalty at all, but we think we do.” We feel like we should stick by it like a good friend. The trouble with this friend is it robs us of the present and prevents us from seeing the future clearly.
There is no doubt about it - pain is a shit, but we have to feel it and let it move on; we can’t get trapped with a friend who suffocates us.
Yeah, Yeah! Whatever Pollyanna…
I’m the first to admit I can’t stand the Pollyanna’s of the world telling me to perk up and enjoy life, so that’s not what I want to do here. I want to acknowledge its not easy sometimes living in the moment or knowing that you’re not. The death of someone or something can shake our world initially, but it can also be something that makes us sit up and take notice of the real things in life.
Of course this acceptance of death is probably easier when death appears further away in the distance, and you’re not just surviving from day to day. It would be wrong to assume that people in dark places can just change their thoughts. I know this isn’t the case - I have been there.
What I also know though is any change of the way we look at life takes tons of practice and tenacity. I am always inspired when I see kids from the poorest poverty stricken countries smile and laugh, and enjoy life despite their circumstances. Money has nothing to do with living in the moment, although many may argue the opposite.
Getting through things isn't living. That’s surviving. I will always pull myself back when I hear myself say this; I strive to live in the moment, because the present is all we have.
I will leave you with a quote from the beautiful movie About Time, where Tim can time travel. His Dad leaves him some parting wisdom: “Part one of my Dad’s big secret, was to live ordinary life day by day. Part two of Dad’s plan was to go back and live each day again exactly the same but this time notice how sweet the world can be.” We mortals don’t have time travel, so we need to notice how sweet life can be - now.
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