when I didn’t have a dime
I remember the times
when we didn’t have a dime
Those were the best days.”
~ Lucy Pearl
How many times have you said this to yourself? “Oh, those were the good old days” or “Remember when (insert memorable situation here)… – what good times!”
Well, let’s rewind back to those good times – 2, 3, maybe 5 years ago? Even though you may be reminiscing now about how awesome those times were, I bet back then you were using that time to reminisce about how awesome life was 5 years from then, and so on. When you were younger, more beautiful, more carefree, etc. You remember that trip you took with your friends, all that money that seemed to just keep flowing in (or lack of money, but it just didn’t matter then). THOSE were the good old times. And I bet during THOSE times you were thinking about the awesome past again, or maybe even dreaming about the future and how great it will be when you find “the one”, are in a career making more money than ever, or something else that you believe will truly make your life great.
Do you see the pattern here? Actually, there are two things that become clear.
Number 1. We spend too much dang time in the past and future, and not enough time in the present moment. Be it reminiscing about the past, cringing at the past, worrying about the future, dreaming about the future.
Number 2. We never seem to enjoy the present moment as much as we enjoy thinking about it once it’s already in the past. Can you imagine how much richer that moment would be if you spent the time enjoying it fully, with all of your senses, when it was actually happening? Instead we often spend the present moment thinking about the years past…
I think it’s safe to make an assumption that years from now you’ll be thinking back to today and remembering “the good old times” that are today.
So, instead of realizing how awesome our lives were after the fact, why don’t we just assume that right now – this very minute – are the good times. 🙂 How do you think we would approach life right now if we were fully aware that these are the good times right now!? OMG! We would fully immerse ourselves in the moment now, thus creating even more awesomeness and richer times because we are 100% here living in the present moment.
But wait a second. What if you are someone who is living with pain right now? Are you thinking that I have gone completely insane because you will NEVER EVER look back on these days and think that these were the good old times? Hmm, I think you will! In fact, I know you will!
About 5 years ago from today I was fairly knee-deep in suffering with pelvic pain. And yet now, when I think back to those days, the memories that come to mind have nothing to do with pain. This is what comes to mind first. All the fun and randomness I experienced traveling to South America. Getting accepted into the dental hygiene program. Creating amazing friendships. De-stressing with my friends on the weekends with cocktails and laughing. The time I stuffed the world’s largest roll of sushi into my mouth. Isn’t it funny how my mind doesn’t even go to the memories of struggling with interstitial cystitis? It becomes so secondary to all the good times that I had. It is almost as if the pain wasn’t even there as much as I thought it was.
If you are in pain right this instant, but knew that 5 years from now you’d be spending time reminiscing about the good old days that are today – all those knee-slapping times (or maybe just that ONE knee-slapping time you had that made milk shoot out of your nostrils), the love-filled gatherings between family and friends, you with less wrinkles and less grey hair – would that change the way you live your life today, with or without pain symptoms? Even if you are thinking right now how awful everything is and how you have zero fun, I bet you could think of one or two times that were a wee bit better than awful. Maybe it was how peaceful you felt cuddling with your pet the other day, or the feeling you got when that stranger smiled to you on the street. If you know that these are the things you will remember 5 years from now, and not necessarily your burning hoo-ha or paralyzing anxiety, would that change the way you approach life right now? Maybe just a little bit? I have a hunch that it would. A hunch that it may make you get up and do the things that you have been avoiding because you think your pain is stopping you from doing them. Because, hey, that’s what you’re going to remember 5 years from now!
It’s like playing in a totally different ballgame. Instead of living life with one painful toe in, now it’s like living life “all in!”
And that, my friends, is what is going to help you get rid of your pain.