Friday, August 26, 2011

That was “NOW”…what about Then?


(in process ~ Optical Illusion)
It’s so easy, I mean “no brainer” easy, to get lost on the cataclysm of NOW. We sit in it; emotions we’ve trained to spring up, appear instantly. You don’t have to think about it, just sit there a fraction of a second and you have this stinky stew, a dangerous deadly Amazon jungle all around you, INSTANTLY!! Put a name on any given situation in your life; it’s probably easier than you want it to be, recall any given situation. Pick a song – nearly any song about romance – and you find the same emotions bouncing around in you, you thought were long dead!

A few years ago, I purchased an audiobook by Norman Vincent Peale, called “You can if You Think You Can. In it, he tells the story of a woman, living by a river with her three small children. At the time, she has an injury to her left arm, which has her moving about her small place, working carefully to avoid pain. Her youngest child, a three year old comes in, having played outside with her siblings, dirty and in need of a change of clothes. She changes her, sends her back outside and gets back to the work of housekeeping. At some point, mother’s intuition kicks in as she remembers that though her children have been warned to stay away from the river, kids will be kids. She goes outside, seeing only the two older children and asks where their younger sister might be. They say she was walking toward the river. Too concerned to scold, she runs to the river, and arriving there, she doesn’t see her daughter. Fear and dread quickly rush to the surface as she calls her name and looks at the banks and then into the river. Looking downstream, she spots what looks like clothing moving down the river. Keep in mind she doesn’t know how to swim, but she rushes toward the spot where she’s sure it’s her daughter and realizing it is, she rushes into the river, treading water as best she can. Trying to keep herself afloat and get to her daughter, she reaches for her daughter with her left arm, the injured arm. She reaches her daughter, who is near unconscious at this time and pulls her as best she can. Grabbing her and trying to get her to shore, she tries to throw her, only to fail. But that doesn’t stop her; she tries again and gets her daughters limp body out of the water and onto the shore. So, ask yourself, did that mom get lost in the NOW? Or did she focus on the Then?

Pain is real, and at nearly all costs, we try to avoid it. But there are times when the pain of the moment seems small when we compare it to future loss. There are times when we focus beyond are current misery and we HAVE TO get up and GO! We’ve heard the stories of ladies or older men who lift cars off children. We’ve heard stories of people jumping in the path of a car to save the life of a child. So why stop there? Why not continue pushing past that current pain?

In the mix of daily concerns, it could seem we are destined to succumb to the pressures of life. Any given moment, pain, disappointment and despair wield the control of the day. But – and this may be the best place to put this word – in that same day, we find ourselves caught up in the busyness of making through the day. Employment can be a wonderful distraction from debilitating emotions. A shift of attention from the death we are sure awaits us around the corner, is often enough to send that “axe-wielding” despair away for the day. Personally I’ve found a nap in the middle of the day, finds me waking as though I had never had a doubt in the world. It’s a choice to make each day. Now here’s the funny part; hold on your laughter ‘cause this joke takes a while to sink in: some day in a future you refuse to see at the moment “this trauma?” It will be gone and either you will learn to put all the days’ drama in a box for such trash, or you will allow another tragedy to rob you of your joy. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but wow, practice it – I mean like performing curls with 70 pound dumbbells – and soon you’ll be stronger and laughing at calamity!