Monday, May 21, 2012

Life On Purpose

Sometimes I think too much. Actually, most of the time I think too much. I remember when I was a child I would worry that at some point all of the possible melodies would be used up and there would be no more new songs. I don’t know if that’s mathematically possible and as I get older it becomes less and less relevant since I’ve come nowhere near hearing even a billionth of the songs that have already been written but it was one of the many things I thought about every day when I was growing up.

I still think too much. I like to know what to expect in any situation I am entering. If I can’t “know” what to expect I try to visualize it. I spend hours each day imagining what might happen tomorrow, what might happen when I get to work, what might happen during a doctor’s appointment. It really is maddening but I like so many other things about my brain that I’ve just decided to live with this quirk.

When Brennis had his heart attack I had to stop thinking and just let things happen. I couldn’t imagine what was going to happen, I couldn’t even hazard a guess. I just sat next to him and allowed this new world to unfold before me. It was pretty liberating actually and I learned a lot about being able to do that. There are a lot of things in this world that we have control over and a much larger number of things that we do not. I was in a place where I had no control over anything and honestly I felt as safe as I had ever felt before.

When they first admitted Brennis on Saturday they told us they were going to do some tests on Monday to determine what caused his symptoms. Shortly after this they came back with the final results of the blood work and EKG and told us that Brennis had indeed had a heart attack and that they would be doing a heart cath on Monday instead to see what the next step would be. We knew that they would either do stents to open the arteries if the blockages were minor or do open heart surgery if the blockages were more severe or if there were several blockages.

I had a sense almost immediately that Brennis was going to have open heart surgery. I don’t know if it was my own mind trying to prepare me for the worst or if it was some power greater than me giving me a glimpse of the future….but it’s what I knew and I prepared myself for that.

From that moment on I felt like I knew exactly what was happening as it was happening. I didn’t need to know it before it happened. I knew it while it was happening. I learned later that this is what is known as “living in the moment”. For the first time in my life I was experiencing my life while it was happening. I wasn’t living through one event while I was worrying about or planning an upcoming event. I was living the event I was actually a part of. Unfortunately, this was a new concept for me.

If you have ever experienced it you know that it is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. I was able to experience this feeling throughout Brennis’ stay in the hospital and for a short time after he was released but slowly the feeling left me as the daily routine of living crept back into my reality. In addition to the regular day to day stresses of work, cleaning, family, etc. we had now added Dr.’s appointments, wound care, blood pressure checks and nurses visits to our “to do” list. It was easy for me to start thinking and worrying and visualizing the future again. This time, however, I knew that I didn’t have to. I was conscious of the fact that no matter what I worried about or visualized the future was going to unfold the way it was going to unfold. I could still plan what I wanted to do but once planned I needed only to experience it. Isn’t that afterall the reason we plan things?

Regaining control of my moments is a struggle. I have to check myself quite often and bring myself back into the moment. It really is as simple as reminding yourself to do it. Stop worrying. You are here. You are doing this thing you wanted to do…..the thing that you were looking forward to doing…..experience it. Live it.

I find now that if I am in that state,experiencing my life while I’m living it, that my life opens up for me in amazing new ways. Try it now. Stop and listen to the sounds around you, feel the pressure of your chair against your back, experience the aroma of the room you are in. You may have missed these things before but they were always there. Without having to think about it they will move you in the direction you are meant to go. Move forward now…..with purpose. Your life is waiting…..but it won’t wait forever.

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