Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Brief Moment in History

There is a Buddhist idea of being in the moment.  It isn't just being physically and mentally present.  It is the idea that the ONLY time we have is now.  This minute.  This second.  This is the only time we have to live so lets make it count.  It is wasteful to ruminate about the past because it has already happened and we can't change it.  It is wasteful to worry about the future because it hasn't happened yet and none of us can predict what will happen anyway so why worry about it.  All we truly really have is now.  Right now.  We have what today has given us: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.  These are the raw tools we have to work with today so lets get at it.

Because my symptoms have never been reliable or predictable I am learning this lesson the hard way.  I was getting pretty good at going with the flow, adjusting my activities to my illness.  With the recovery in progress, the part that I need to concentrate on next is not worrying about the future.  I have no idea which way my illness is heading.  I can't predict the future and neither can the doctors.  I have no way of knowing if this is a remission, a partial recovery or a full recovery.  I know that most recoveries occur in stages that have plateaus in between levels.  Because I can't predict the future I have no way of predicting the course of my illness so instead I must pay attention to my body and use the tools I am given each day to make the most of my life in that particular moment.  On good days I can make pickles.  On bad days I can sit and watch the hawks ride the thermals high into the sky.  Cooking and nature watching both bring me joy so I am living life to the fullest no matter which activity my body can perform on any given day.  I am still learning the lessons my Buddhist teacher tried to instill in me years ago.  I am still the student practicing the NOW.

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