The last time I wrote a blog post was exactly one year ago. It's now two years since Claire passed away and I'm still getting so many people contact me as a result of this blog. So why am I writing another blog post two years to the day that Claire died?
When I first created this blog I didn't know why I did it. It just seemed like a natural thing to do, a natural thing to write and tell the world how I was doing. My head is clearer now, that mist of uncertainty has lifted and I'm clear about the purpose of this blog post.
Why write this?
- I want people to know that I'm okay.
- I want people in my situation to know that their future can be bright.
It's only been two years but I honestly feel at peace. That's not to say I don't feel sad, that's not to say I don't miss Claire but it is to say that I feel at peace with the situation.
Feeling at peace is about accepting NOW as it truly is. But what is NOW?
I'm not talking about the big life picture, I'm not talking about feeling lonely ( I don't by the way), I'm not talking about facing life without a wife, I'm not talking about money worries or any other worries... What I mean by NOW is this exquisite moment. This instantaneous and fleeting moment is all that we have in life. Every moment is unique and in isolation every moment has no worries at all.
If we think this moment does have worries it's because there is resistance. We are resisting one of two things:
Our memories from the past. These memories are flawed, they aren't the actual past they are just the way our brains have encoded sights, sounds & feelings. Those memories have bits missing and bits added and it's impossible for us to know which is which.
Our expectations of the future. Our expectations are flawed, they are created in our own head, they are illusions of the way we think our life should be.
Both our past and our future are constructions in our own mind. They are not reality, they either haven't happened yet or they are flawed re-creations of what has been. We worry when there is resistance and comparison between the past or the future and the NOW.
It's all created in our head. All of those worries don't exist in this unique moment. The instant we let go of comparing NOW, our worries disappear.
That's not to say that the life situation changes or gets resolved, but it is to say that the way we perceive that life situation changes dramatically. It becomes accepted as the way it is and the negative emotions surrounding that situation change, we can still take action to change the life situation but no longer feel the worry.
It's like being stuck in the mud, if we panic and stress then the situation gets worse. The moment we calm down and accept that we are stuck in the mud, in other words we accept the NOW, we can begin to make a plan to change things in a calm and relaxed manner.
I came across this recently and it's changed my life. The first verse is what got me...
This human birth is precious,
An opportunity to awaken.
But this body is impermanent;
Ready or not, one day I shall die.
So this life I must know
As the tiny splash of a raindrop.
A thing of beauty that disappears
Even as it comes into being.
The karma I create,
Shapes the course of my life.
But however I act
Life always has difficulties;
No-one can control it all.
Only acceptance of the now
can free me and others
From suffering forever.
Therefore I recall
My heart's longing for freedom,
And resolve to make use
Of every day and night
To realise it.
This human birth that we have all experienced genuinely is an opportunity to awaken. We can choose to use the opportunity to live in a world of negativity but I'm choosing not to. I'm choosing to accept that death is part of life. It's not natural to lose a partner so young, but our bodies are impermanent, ready or not one day we shall die.
So as I live my life as a tiny splash of a raindrop, knowing that as a thing of beauty it will disappear one day I'm choosing to except the now and free myself from suffering forever. I'm experiencing so many things in glorious technicolour, living each day moment by moment, noticing that this tiny splash of a raindrop is impermanent and will pass.
If you're friends with me on Facebook you'll probably notice my passion for food. Eating locally sourced and organic food has become a real passion. Every mouthful represents a single raindrop. Every mouthful is impermanent and it's a thing of beauty, I'm going to enjoy every one!
Okay, when I make a cup of coffee it takes me a while to get the water to 90°, then measure to get 15g of coffee to 250ml water, then wait for 2 1/2 min, then allow the temperature to drop to the perfect 42°... But I want to experience everything at its best, why settle for crap?
This birth is an opportunity to awaken, awaken to food, to life, to music, to experiences, to friendships, to rest, to holidays, to DANCING!...
If you're reading this, I implore you to make use of every day and night to realise your hearts longing for freedom, just as I am reminding myself to do right now as I remember my beautiful wife.
So, may the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds forever. xxx