by Shaun Fuentes
"Keep living the best way you can." That’s what I tell most people nowadays anytime they ask me how I’m doing or coping after which I respond and return the question, “What about you.” Sometimes they are positive and a lot of times they shrug and respond “I’m there” or “Ah Dey” as we tend to say in Trinidad and Tobago.
We get caught up a lot in trying to get somewhere, somehow in the future. We are always wondering or worrying about what happened or what may happen. It’s an easy mindset to get caught in. It’s the idea that the future is where happiness lies. Not here. Not now. Not this. We are constantly trying to figure out how we can achieve our fullest potential, realise our dreams and ambitions whether it be a better company, new house, nicer car, better relationship or our next big trip abroad. Well we aren’t spending too much time thinking about traveling these days. But you get catch my drift. We are always focusing on how we can ‘work it all out.
So we rush into getting things done, our minds racing at night, and our feet quickly out the door next morning after that instant cup of coffee. We strive and we wait. Wait for the right time, the better moment, the future.
And in the waiting we overlook the fact that our life is happening, moment by moment….too often passing us by only half lived.
“The energy of waiting can have us caught up in our heads hooked on the wishes we want to be filled, the plans we want to execute and the dreams we believe we need to come true.”
Not waiting doesn’t mean we have to put off plans or give up on ambitions. Instead it can see us bring our primary focus to how we meet the unfolding moment. It can range from enjoying a movie, a meal, a prayer session, housework, exercising - with your entire immediate family, your parents, your spouse, your kids, your teammates or your friends. This is referred to as engaging fully in the journey instead of waiting to arrive at our destination.
The present moment could be described as the flow of life. It is the space in which your
entire life unfolds. Your true home. When we learn to stop leaning into the next experience – wanting and waiting for a particular outcome, we are finally free to know and experience life and this moment fully.
This involves a relaxed, warm and welcoming awareness. Instead of clinging it, lets things be. It doesn’t deny or push anything away. It allows the flow of life to come towards us and we respond to it moment by moment. We dance with the flow of life. In this way we develop a skillful and loving connection with reality.
My mother is Muslim and deeply spiritual. My father and I along with my sister are Roman Catholics. I am single with no kids at the moment but it is one of my ambitions to raise a family of my own one day. I asked both parents what do we pray for? Other than the usual protection and guidance for ourselves and loved ones, a secured future, health among so many other things. And this is not me trying to tell the two people who I owe my upbringing to how they should pray or what they should pray for.
It is a simple case of me saying to them that a simple thing of asking God to guide us more on how to be patient with everyone around us and extending more love and affection as it could make all the difference in the world as it relates to how the rest of our lives are spent.
Listen, we all have our ways. We are going to disagree, we are going to argue and we may not always laugh. It is within our right to make our choices as to what we believe is wrong or right and who deserves our love or not. But I think the more we live the more we learn and the less days we have to show love and try to have that positive effect on the people in our lives. So why delay. Ask for God’s guidance in clearing our hearts and minds in a way that allows us to add more spark into the universe through love and to have that positive impact on those around us, whether it be in our homes, our workplace or in the pharmacy we step into.
Life can be messy no doubt. There will always be another problem to solve, goal to reach, mess to clean up, wound to heal. If you get it all together something usually falls apart again in the next moment. If you get what you want, another desire will soon arise. It’s just the way of being human.
“We laugh together. We enjoy the good days Mommy has and we even embrace the hard days. We don’t really have a choice in the matter. So we just embrace all the days, because in the end, having another day is all we can ask for.”
Those were the words of someone who was enduring the pain of a loved one who had been fighting cancer a second time and they didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.
Most times we take days and weeks, and even years for granted. We live our lives like we have an unlimited amount of time left. But there comes a time when we don’t or can't do that anymore. And this should not be something we are forced into because of a circumstance that indicates we may not have much time left on this earth.
We don’t take a single moment for granted. We can’t afford to. And if you get nothing out of reading this, get that. Because you can’t afford to, either. You just don’t know what tomorrow holds.
So, love your people and love them hard. Don’t wait for a diagnosis or a tragedy or death to do this. Please. Just trust me on this one. You don't need to hug everyone or take loved ones to the best dinners. A simple smile with a "Hello, how you been?" could work wonders. It sets a stage.
“And if we’re being completely honest in the end, everyone has their “hard.” Our hard just happens to be cancer right now. But each and every one of us is dealing with or will be dealing with a hard sooner than later,” the person also said.
Whatever you’re waiting for, sometimes it feels like our lives are on hold while we wait for some magic moment in the future, when everything is going to change. Stop waiting! Do something right when you can!