The only way to deal with any long term problem, like living, is to only deal with the short term!
All we have is now. How often have we heard that? Usually from some esoteric sounding fart with a soporific smile explaining why they are so much more advanced than the rest of us.
However, they are dead right! It just isn’t a great mystery nor is it the path to Ultimate Peace. It is just the only way to deal with life.
I recall only too well when I lived my life in fear. Much of it the result of abuse. Much also because of projection. Fear of tomorrow. I remember in my late teens, when it became clear I would never be well enough to work, I would lay in bed paralysed with fear about what my life would be like at the age I am now! My life today is not at all like I feared it would be.
The concept of living one day at time came into my consciousness around about the same time as my fear was out of control. I didn’t understand it. I started though with little steps. I used to get anxious waiting for a bus. I learned to just relax and wait coming to realise that no matter how I felt, the bus would not get arrive any sooner!
Over the years, the concept grew and took over my thinking and as it did so, reduced fear and stress.
There is a balance to be found. one does have to plan That is different to projection. For example, we have booked a trip to show abroad in 6 months time. All booked and paid for. I now don’t think about it. I don't think about the possible pitfalls, what can go wrong, how I will be then. I have booked and now will forget until the time comes.
Self knowledge is important. It forms the basis of successful living. Without it one can all too easily act in ways detrimental to ourselves and others.
Years ago, when it first became apparent I had physical problems, I dealt with it more or less by ignoring it and by living a day a time and believing that this too shall pass. Now this was a misuse of the concept! As a result of it, I did not get help. (it is more complicated than that but the complications are not important here.)
Finally, I was brought to my knees, literally, on a trip to Stockholm. I found I was in great pain and barely able to move. I was diagnosed soon after and have used walking sticks and wheelchair ever since.
I deal with this disease in small chunks. I DO NOT think about where my disease could be headed. I know where it can lead but it is not set ins tone. It takes different routes in different people. I could end up not being able to walk at all. I could stay more or less as I am. There is NO point in thinking about it. However, I don’t ignore it to the extent that I don’t take care of myself and taking care of myself, eating right, swimming, is dealing with tomorrow as best as I can but mentally and emotionally I deal only with now, today.
Even thinking about a whole day can be too much. Taking it in small chunks reduces fear, stress and hopelessness. If I feel terrible when waking, I don’t turn over and go back to sleep. Okay so that is not a very good option for me as it would cause more pain. However, I do not let the thoughts about how I am going to manage take hold. I take one step at a time. I deal with the dogs first. Always. Then I take my meds. Whatever I do next, I only think about that and lunch time. I will then go back to bed. So all I had to deal with and think about was those few hours. After waking, my days starts off again.
What about bathing a dog? If I think about the 2 hours it will take, the discomfort and pain, I will put it off. I don’t. I keep those thoughts OUT of my head and if they are there I ignore them. Often I am starting to prepare things for a dog bath whilst I am thinking about how I don’t want to do it. By the time the dog is wet, I HAVE TO CONTINUE! I find that once I am in to it, I am okay. Only once have I been incapable of finishing a dog. Fortunately, she was all but legs done.
What death? Losing a loved one? Both of these things will happen. The first will happen to all of us and we know not when or how so we must do our best to not think of it. We must take reasonable steps to protect loved ones etc when we pop our clogs, so wills and finances etc need to be sorted. Other than that, put it out of your mind.
What about your loved one? The thought of John being ill and dyeing is a horror to me. I couldn't bear him to suffer nor can I bear the thought of him not being here. This is another fear that one must not dwell upon. Who knows what will happen? I may go first.
No one is 100% perfect at living in the now. However, to try and do so is only of benefit to us. We get better at it as time goes on. Slowly but surely our thinking will change.
THERE IS NO SITUATION TAHT CANNOT BE MADE BETTER BY A CHANGE IN OUR ATTITUDE. EEVN CERTAIN APPROACHING DEATH CAN BE ROBBED OF IT’S POWER TO TERRIFY BY A CHANGE IN BELIEF.