Chronic illness has taught me many lessons. Living in the moment is the how I choose to live my life in 2019, leaving the past as a memory.
Focus on now. Today. This moment. That is my resolution for 2019.
In September I was holidaying in Spain (see my post about this holiday) and we visited the seaside town of Nerja. It rests on top of the cliffs with views over the Mediterranean. A beautiful town. The focus is Balcon de Europa, a promontory into the blue sea. I was sitting on one of the many benches enjoying the feel of the sun on my skin and seeing many smiling faces.
Beside my seat there was a fence with a lock that had faded lettering. My eyes closed, and I thought of the couple that placed this here. At the time they locked it they were in love, willing to show this undying affection with this symbol. Although it was unbroken, the letters had almost disappeared. Had their romance also blown away with the winds of change.
Today this makes me think about how we lock our lives to a point in time. In my life I often reflect on the life I once had before constant pain and lost mobility. My mind fixates on this, narrowing in on the skills I no longer have. It is very difficult to stop this. Thinking about the work I once could complete with ease, or my ability to communicate in a crowded room. The monster of chronic illness has ripped these talents from my grasp.
It gives me some comfort when I realise this situation is common. A challenge faced by many warriors who fight disease. Every day we rise from our sleep ready to face another battle with this enemy. We often lose these skirmishes, and they scar our bodies and minds. For some the blemishes are so many, they would be impossible to count.
The temptation is to focus on these, like examining the lock on that fence. Turning it with fingers that no longer feel, trying to read the washed away names. Barely legible, yet still focusing on a point in time, never seen again. It is firmly, solidly, gone. The weeks, months and years have passed and we are in a different moment.
Sitting with this brass object in my hand, I had reflected on my life, and a darkness grew. Turning my head away, shaking the mist of the past from my eyes I took the opportunity to look again.
Letting go of the hot metal, hearing it rattle against the railing, I noticed something new. A purple flower gently swaying in the afternoon breeze. Symbolising the moment, nature’s beauty, delicate yet resilient. The wind would toss it about, but it would keep its place, moving in a dance that captivated me. This was now.
The photographs I took remind me today of the happiness we can take from the moment. I have the choice on what I should focus. This is a continuum of decisions. Will I lock myself to the past? Living in a hard reality made for myself, or float with the wind?
My resolution is to be the delicate flower, enjoying the moment. Feeling the dance of life around me and letting my mind enjoy it. This moment of beauty fills me with optimism for the future. I have to refocus. Looking a little further to see the colour, and not the hardened steel of my memories, my past.
The New Year
These pictures are a reminder of how I want to live my life from this moment. What are your resolutions for the New Year? Can you see the beauty, or are you locked to your past? Let me know in the comments below.