Days of Futures Past

Would what I know today have helped me in the past? Circumstances change with every decision and what and who play roles in our lives constantly shift like sand on a beach. The ocean’s tides ever flow, but never continually the same so the charts must change with them and the shifting of the depths we cannot see beneath us. So anxious minds consider, “if only I’d known then what I know now,” beating themselves up with the knowledge they never could have known before that very moment. Experience and wisdom helps our sight, but focusing our sight on the moment helps us get to the shore not looking back at the vastness and the waves behind us can make us run ashore instead of landing in the safety of the port of call ahead.

People change, as their roles in our lives do – and they perhaps hadn’t even shown up yet as we sailed to this moment in time. There’s knowledge that’s unfashionable to a younger, unexperienced mind. Yet how I wish some days for less of the knowledge I’ve amassed. The German Erfahrung, translates to the English experience yet bespeaks more to my point. Erfahrung equates to the coherency of ones life’s experiences. And that’s the subtly of why what we know now never could help our past selves.

Our egos sometimes overshadow our vision making it difficult to see that we, as the coherence of the past, culminate into the current moment. Can you know more than you know? But you can infer from the past what might inform a decision. I try to follow the old rule “fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.” But there’s not a one of us who can honestly say we’ve not gone back for more foolishness given instances of grief, love, passion, obsession, and even hope. What makes us continue to go back for more chemotherapy falls into this category. There’s no instance of chemotherapy being the cure of cancer. But we’ve seen success with it over the course of our disease. It’s not foolishness but hope that dries us to swallow the pills, be injected with or being lasered with by the very things that cause cancer.

We certainly know more today than we knew yesterday, but back for more we go.

All we are is all we are.

We’re all we are and that’s all we are but not all we have been. Change is never a straight and narrow line. It’s not a tightrope with a net beneath to catch our fall when we make mistakes either. The paths we walk, crooked and curved, are more like mazes than labyrinths, since we have an end to the process in mind not just a question we ask and have the time to ponder.

We skip over stones. We change. Bodies don’t stay the same and our physical selves even after one second aren’t even the same as they were.

Everyone is born terminal. If the doctor slapped a newborn’s bottom to make sure they’re able to scream and thus breath, the first words we should have heard were, “I’m sorry but you life and you’re going to die eventually”. We don’t have a prognosis on your actual mortality but have hope. Medicine has come a long way and life expectancy has reached 77 years in the US and over 80 in European and Asian countries. If your children were born recently they’ll be expected to live over 83 years. When I was born in 1965, the average age of mortality was 74.

It’s unlikely I’ll reach 74. Metastatic cancer shaves years off of the long life my parents expected me to have – both of them thought I’d live into my 90s for some reason. I’m a mortal disappointment.

Roll the dice and be nice.

Take good care of your soul and your spirit. Whether or not it’s true that heaven and God exist, kindness and giving others love won’t make life here and now any worse. Actually, I can only make living here better. What really do you have to lose by navigating this life with a well tuned moral compass to help guide the way?

I hate arguments. In my experience, in general, arguments are rarely about about was said but what’s unsaid. If you really listen when you argue even your side isn’t really what you mean. There’s so much context that’s not being voiced. One thing that Craig and I do have is good conflict resolution and I think this is one of the big reasons we are together going on 14 years.

One thing I have learned is that saying I’m sorry even if I don’t feel that I am at fault and the argument isnt “my fault” I apologize. Yet it has to be a real apology not one that feels false or feels forced. Sometimes you have to take a break walk away and just apologize. Because tomorrow morning it’s not who said they were sorry just that the burden of stress is over. Chances are you won’t even remember what the argument was about in the first place. Because let’s face it it wasn’t about what you said it was about what you didn’t say. But you’ll be happy for for the hug that you’ll feel for the kiss on the cheek for the I love you that you’ll hear. That is an easy thing to do. It’s the ego that gets in the way and if you’re taking care of your spirit and your soul the ego takes a backseat. We can let the ego grow overI hate arguments. One thing I have learned girl is that saying I’m sorry even if I don’t feel that I am at fault and the argument and it Hass to be a real apology not one that feels false or feels forced. Sometimes you have to take a break walk away and just apologize. Because tomorrow morning it’s not who said they were sorry for the hug that you’ll feel for the kiss on the cheek for the I love you that you’ll hear.

It’s the ego that gets in the way of the possibilities of genuine apology. Yet if you’re taking care of your spirit and your soul the ego can take a backseat. We can let the ego grow, like ivy growing over the bricks of a university building. It might look good, yet it covers what’s really underneath.

Your soul and your spirit are the most valuable and precious things you’re responsible to care for. And if indeed there is “heaven” and “God,” and you don’t believe in a specific doctrine or prayer book or religion, still what do you have to lose by doing good? Taking spiritual care of yourself is as important as taking physical and mental care of yourself. It helps you treat other people the way you like to be treated.

I do believe in the old aphorism that treating others how you’d like to be treated. How many of us really practice that? Look at the arguments that you have look at the things that you don’t say that you really want to say and then tell me that you do treat other people the way that you want to be treated. Don’t you want to really know what somebody feels have somebody wants to be treated? Perhaps it’s not what’s being said, but that feeling in your gut that you should listen to instead.

Laying down your sword and holding out your arms instead to hold someone makes life easier. And I do believe that life is meant to be easy. It’s certainly easier taking care of yourself and allowing that self-care to show and shine for other people in the form of a genuine heart. The better you take care you take care of yourself, the better you can take care of other people. Practicing that can give you a happier life right here and right now. Practicing self-care and self-love helps the way I care for others to improve.

Where in lies the difficulty?

We struggle when we want more than simply life itself. We cannot control others. If indeed life weren’t meant to be easy then life itself would make no sense at all. It is simple and it is easy. In summary I want to give you for things that I’ve been thinking about that had me write this post which seems probably very philosophical to you. I haven’t written a post for a few weeks because I’ve been thinking quite a bit in this downtime, in this alone time, and tried to treat this isolation is not so much lonely but is the time to do some self discovery. I hope that you’ll get a little bit from the soul-searching that I’ve been doing.

1. Accepting that you’re born to eventually die and not worrying so much about the end but simply living in this very moment is the best life there can be.

2. If you take care of your spirit and your soul your back is covered. Whether you believe or not in god or a doctrine to understand the meaning of life, regardless, there was once a beginning of all things and there will be an ending of all things but everything comes from “one.” You don’t have to worry if you’re a good person and don’t damage yourself or harm others or the planet or anything beyond.

3. All we are is all we are – but not who we are. Some say we are only the summation of our experiences. But those circumstances of our experiences don’t simply make us exactly what we are and we can change. There are second chances and we can change. Some say people can never change but I say that’s absolutely false. I’ve seen people who have argued about the same things so many times but when they finally got down to what was really bothering them they were able to go forward and move forward and take care of their spirits and souls.

4. I have all I need right here and right now. If I want more than life itself then I’ll always feel life is a struggle. Leave behind the wants and the must-have’s and the lists of things. Buying doesn’t make you more human, but sharing does. Loving does. And being loved in return makes life an easy place to be. Life is terminal but let’s say this:

Life is easy let’s let it be and so it will be.

2 thoughts on “Days of Futures Past

  1. Our general life philosophy certainly pointed us towards one another by no accident. Since we’ve continued to support one another from a geographic distance but through our close words, i find that my felling that we make life as difficult or as easy on ourselves not so inconsequential. In fact it is we who make the ultimate choice to determine how to view a body with a killer on our backs (and fronts) as a way to adopt the easier path. To take nonsense as what it is, criticisms for what they’re worth, but living this one life as simply life – we get one, and it wasn’t meant to beat the crap out of us to learn “lessons”‘like we were in a school for wayward girls. Love you, my dear friend. And that’s so easy to do isn’t it?

  2. This is so beautiful, Ilene. I agree with everything you say (of course, you knew I would).

    I was particularly moved by your final paragraph: “I have all I need right here and right now. If I want more than life itself then I’ll always feel life is a struggle.” So true! x

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