I Have This Terminal Disease,
It Moves So Slow It Is Killing Me!
One of 25 Best Alzheimer’s Blogs of 2012
Mike Donohue is a brave man. Courageous, direct, and bold, his blog energizes readers with a passion for action. Dementia Endured gives a hint in the title as to the nature of this talented writer: he will endure. And with a personality like Mike’s, it’s easy to believe that he shall overcome, as well!
His life experiences are opened to the reader, and his journey recovering from alcoholism to adjusting to Alzheimer’s holds its own fascination for visitors to his site. Mike’s strength and determination will remind readers that dementias are one area in which it’s best not to hold any punches.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
During out lives we occupy no more than the moment we are presently in. This moment we occupy is the junction between the moments that were and the moment which are yet to come. What will be (always our future) is what happens following the moment. Sometimes it is predictable other times it is a surprise.
Can we direct what happens next? If we have control over what happens next the answer is yes. Do we have that control? Can we make what happens next?
Exercising cause to create effect is a tool we have. With that we can try to influence future moments. Too often it doesn’t happen as we direct. By acting within the present moment we can try to cause an affect on a future moment. Invariably the unanticipated intrudes on the intended moment producing a divergence or an altogether different result.
We live moment to moment. Neither the next nor the previous moment is with us when we act in the moment we occupy. Neither the future moment nor the previous moment is able to effectively affect the present moment. We seem to be limited to acting within the singularly of the present moment.
In this way our choices are confined within our NOW. The past can influence this present moment, the future may be influenced from this present moment. Neither past nor future can control that present moment in which we exercise choice.
Is this splitting hairs, counting angels dancing on the head of a pin? Or, is their significance in any of this?
I believe it is significant. What it tells us in metaphor is this: “Our life is but a movie with us as its spectators. At the movie we have an occasional opportunity to interface.”
The Buddhists speak of living in the NOW, the events of life are illusory; we go from one event to the next choreographed by the Karma we bring with us into life. This in turn can be honed by the transactions of living.
In Alcoholics Anonymous it is said “One day at a time. Yesterday is over. Tomorrow is not as yet here. All you have to deal with is Today!” Alcoholics say they have to live this way; doing so is the only way it works.
Whether we conclude this by reason, by belief, by experience, it seems we are very much controlled by the events as they transpire in our lives. We do not make the events, they make us. Our measure of worth in living, its value, is found in how we choose to react and respond to the events as they occur. It is this that truly refines who we become from one moment to the next. In the end we are the sum total of what we have done with what we are handed in this life.
The misapprehension that we are in charge too often is the most disruptive force in getting on with what is to happen next. We tend to get in the way! This disrupts the orderly passing of events in our life and produces aberration. It does us no good. That life force that pushes us one way then has to work harder to get us back on that one way when we take over.
This is why “one day at a time”, “live in the now”, are operational principles for us. Lean back, let it happen, live and let live, how many of these clichés are out there, Funny thing about them they do actually work. “Still, I am afraid to go with the flow; I gotta direct it so it goes right” we say. It is so hard to give up that control we think we have but do not have.
Retrospective view is the one insight given us from which we can learn something. When I look back I see this:
• Everything that happened follows a direct course linked to the events which led to it. One after another they all connect. In this way these previous events do influence the subsequent events.
• It is as if they form a pattern. A pattern I have had little or no hand in formulating.
• So many of the events are such that there is no way I would have chosen them to happen. They are no more directed by me than was my birth to my parents in the time frame it occurred with the gender choice for me as I entered this life.
• The degree to which I stepped back out of the way eased the process of the happening of these events. The extent in which I could turn it over, let it be, go with the flow, the easier time the process has reaching its result.
• As each of these events transpired, one following necessarily on the other, the pattern of them produced in my view a favorable result. Not a pattern I might have chosen. But, not something I would now choose to turn aside. I like the result in spite of what I would have had it be.
From the foregoing I have come to believe my life has occurred according to plan, not my plan, but a plan, that flowed along its own terms. I do not know who set the plan, where it came from; whether or not set in some dimension beyond this one in which I find myself, none of it is of material consequence to me.
What is significant about it is this: It is the way it seems to happen. Anything I have done to defeat it backs up and beats me. It occurs in spite of me. When I take control of my moments and try to direct my response it makes it harder for the natural consequence of my moments to occur. Having 72 years of living this experience I am convinced this is how it works!