Loosening The Grip On Life To Honor Your Perspective
What’s up with us self-absorbed earthlings? We’re always robbing ourselves of our present happiness by thinking there isn’t enough good to go around for all of us, for all time. We’re so obsessed with holding on to stuff.
If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you have decent living conditions, with adequate resources to breeze through life and the unmistakable assurance that the sun will show up every day. We didn’t wake up one morning and receive a text saying the sun slept in, sorry for the inconvenience. No, our days are pretty much predictable and safe, except for some shocks we get now and then, but those are uncommon. Generally, we can foresee what’s coming around the corner.
Cognitive biases lead me to believe that I can and should have a firm grip on whatever good I’m experiencing right now. If it feels so darn good, then it should be mine forever, right? It’s already mine, and it should remain mine when the cows return from grazing. I understand. Your moments are for you to own, whatever that is — a sunny summer where you lie on the pool float sipping Pina Colada over ice, I can totally see that! Or you as a writer celebrating that moment you’ve completed what you deemed to be a masterpiece.
What about when you’re having a time of oh-so-great-sex with that hunk of a man who believed you were his goddess in this lifetime? And I won’t doubt, these are pretty cool moments and yes, I would soak up every zeptosecond. I’d allow time to stand still.
But when those moments had achieved their shelf life, and everything eventually will, I’d get upset. I mourn, cry, wail and sob because the moments and events I treasure have ended. And how do I react? I complain that life is not fair.
It’s just the fact that whatever we desire, whether good or bad, is short-lived.
As much as I desire, despite crossing my fingers and toes, (I may have to do that manually), wishing upon the stars, saying a prayer under my breath with the best intentions, nothing lasts forever. How many times do they need to remind us?
Are we ignorant or in denial? You decide.
Everything is ephemeral. After a sequence of events, everything fades away. Nothing exists afterward.
Relationships will end.
Fluttering feelings will end.
Misery and hopelessness, thank goodness, will end too.
And that puff of cloud that underpins my silly brief fantasy will dissipate, leaving me hanging in midair.
What was that? One moment it was mine to have and to hold and the next moment, it loses its flare like fizzled out fireworks and I’m left standing alone, looking up in the dark sky and wondering what the hell happened.
Life is happening in the moment, not in the past when it’s gone or in the future where we look forward to that special someday that might not come.
We lament when we lose the things we cherished. We badly wanted it to go on forever. That’s how we’re wired. It’s just the fact that whatever we desire, whether good or bad, is short-lived. And they are so to make way for the next significant thing to debut. If I stubbornly cling on to what’s gone, I’ll never be ready for the next great thing, whatever that may be.
But I don’t want the next great thing! I want what I had. I was happy.
That’s only so because I’m not able to see into the future — the speed of light simply will never allow this. The purpose of our existence is to continue to evolve by learning and growing into better versions of ourselves. Everything happens for a reason. There is no such thing as chance.
That awesome holiday was probably to let me know how pleasurable experiences can bring momentary feelings of happiness. The brilliant piece of work I produced was to teach me I can achieve anything when I put my heart and soul into it. And that moment when love sweeps me away, that was to let me know that I’m capable of loving despite my brokenness and also my ability to survive the loss. So everything is a lesson.
And if I can accept that nothing lasts forever, I will learn to treasure those fleeting moments as long as they are here. Why on earth would I short-change myself? When I’m on a glorious holiday, why do I choose to worry about that project at work when I return? What about that moment when I’m totally spellbound by those piercing eyes that looked straight into my soul, I swear I knew when I started to melt, just seconds before an avalanche coming my way. At that point, would I lament over the day I would lose him? Why?
Everything passes with time. It’s only the moment you’re in that has any meaning at all. The magic of life fades too soon. Can we then, for the love of god learn to embrace the moment for what it is rather than freaking out over what might happen?
It doesn’t matter how fleeting it is. I celebrate big time when the moment is mine to have and to hold. It belongs to me. I have it now. I’m in it at the moment. How many people would give the world just to be in my place, and yet it’s mine. I’d close my eyes and take a mental snap shot. Every smell, every sensation, every sound. This is my rare moment. This is special. I allow my brain to go in-depth on the memory-making process while I drink it all in.
Think about it, that’s a damn big deal. Chew on it for a while and let that soak in.
I will engage in it fully so that when the expiration date is up, I won’t have to miss it because I’ve already savored it to the fullest. How silly it would be to worry about the potential loss when I’m smack in the middle of an experience and then long for the experience when it’s gone? It’s like drooling over a slice of creamy and flavorful New York cheesecake and with every bite I lament over the loss when I’m done with it. Why won’t I just enjoy it guilt free?
We need to stop being this silly goose and learn to reclaim our lives. Life is happening in the moment, not in the past when it’s gone or in the future where we look forward to that special someday that might not come. What we have is here. Now.
Don’t chain yourself to the happily ever after because it does not exist. Doing so would mean that I’m developing unhealthy attachments to people and things that will cause suffering. The worst thing that can happen is having the wrong perspective in life where I keep looking in the wrong direction for what’s already mine at the moment.
Get inside the moment. Live it, savor it. Be grateful it’s here because if you look carefully, you really have it forever. Though the IRL may have faded, the moment remained forever etched in my memory. That fleeting moment is a forever moment.
I’m learning to hold on lightly. When the time comes to let go, I want to be thankful for all the beautiful times accorded to me. Heck, I can’t help but shed a tear, I’m not going to lie. But I’ll smile as I bid adieu and turn away.