“We do not heal the past by dwelling there.
We heal the past by living in the present.”~ Marianne Williamson.
We are addicted to technology. Yesterday, I asked two different groups of students what something meant, and suggested that they look something up. In both cases, a student immediately reached for their phone, not the huge expensive textbook that was in front of them on the desk. It has become so easy. We don’t try to remember people, definitions, facts, we ‘Google’ it. We all do it, not just the students.
I find myself wishing that I could apply technological solutions to everyday problems. At work, when I can’t find a document that I cleverly named and saved in my computer, I pull up the search function and up come many options. When I misplace a book in my house, I long for that search function! When driving in my car half listening to the radio, I realize I missed something important and wish I could rewind and hear it again.
Sometimes life is spinning by us so quickly, we wish we could ‘push pause’, and take a break. We are often surrounded by so many thoughts, either trying to fix the past, or anticipate the future,that we forget to be truly present in this moment right now. Think about it. What were you thinking about as you got ready for work this morning? Were you noticing the silence in the house as everyone else slept. Did you feel the cool breeze when you stepped outside? Did you see the sliver of moon setting in the sky, or the red tinge to the dawn? Or were you so busy worrying about what kind of day you would have, or what you need to do this weekend, or how your kid is going to turn out that you saw none of these things? Push pause, take a breath, notice the now.
These past few weeks have been quite exciting for those in the health field. The public has been talking about nurses, about infection control, and now the conversation has been sparked about death with dignity. A young woman with brain cancer has moved to a state which permits a person with a terminal illness to take a lethal dose of medication to end her suffering. Many people do not spend much time thinking about their death, or about what choices they may have to make. We take our health for granted until something challenges it. Just like your car insurance, you have no idea what it covers until you get in an accident.
But there are conversations that we need to have when we are healthy, so that we are not making difficult choices, or expecting our loved ones to make those decisions for us, when we are under duress. There are many books and websites that provide help in thinking about the choices. And the simplest and first one to make should be this: Who would you trust to make those tough decisions for you, if you couldn’t make them yourself. Then ask yourself whether that person has any idea about what decisions you would want made. Would you want everything done to keep you alive? Would you want no aggressive interventions, if there was no hope of meaningful recovery? The time to think about those hypotheticals is when they are still hypothetical. Once you identify that person, and have that conversation with them, (make sure they are agreeable to be that person, and would follow through on your wishes), put it in writing. You can get a ‘health care proxy’ or ‘durable power of attorney’ form in any office supply store. Give a copy to your doctor, your lawyer, to the person named, and keep one yourself in a safe place.
Life passes by so quickly, and you never know what will happen next. On facebook we are often allowed to share in the struggles and challenges that our friends are facing. We are connected in new and powerful ways to people near and far. We are reminded of the fragility of life, and see videos of people who overcome amazing odds on a daily basis. But we get addicted to our virtual world, and sometimes miss what is happening in front of us.
This morning I hope you will push pause, and pay attention to the world around you. Stop and make sure you are not revisiting the past, or overanticipating the future. Be here, with the people you are with. Listen to them, really listen, then you won’t have to wish you had a rewind button. Try to make yourself remember facts and definitions, instead of reaching for google, to keep that brain exercised and creative.
Have a wonderful weekend Family! Push pause, breathe, and give thanks.