Seeing The Beauty of the Dungeon

Today was one of those days when I realized, again, how one day in your life can change everything you know.  And how everything that you now complain about could seem like heaven to some, or at a different time. Just like Beauty and The Beast. She was living in her village, doing the life of villagers which she thought to be a “provincial” life. But when she was trapped in the dungeon later, her old life seemed like heaven and she yearned for it.

She made the decision to see the beauty in the place here and now and find the magic. She made it seem so wonderful that when the time came, she almost hated to leave.

How can WE make every day so wonderful that we hate for it to end? Even when we are tired, or sick, or can’t seem to get anything done. Or maybe we are sick with worry over a child or a grandchild.

As difficult as this is, it really is just a blip in our life that we can never get back.

Eckhart Tolle wrote an entire book on it which states a good place to start:

  • “Everytime you walk up and down the stairs in your house or place of work, pay close attention to every step, every movement, even your breathing. Be totally present…..
  • [or] When you wash your hands, pay attention to all the sense perceptions associated with the activity: the sound and feel of the water, the movement of your hands, the scent of the soap….

He states the way to measure success in this practice is:

The degree of peace that you feel within.
Eckhart Tolle

This weekend we watched old family movies. When my kids were little I would just sit the camera in the room and record our everyday life. As we sat now and watched our lives in the seemingly mundane moments of yesteryear, the feeling I got was that any of us would give anything to go back there for a day. To just know what we know now. We would surely make that day like heaven! We would hug tightly and look deep into the eyes of that little 9-year-old who now struggles with SUD and just smile at their innocence. We would look at our aged parents and say:

"Do you know how much I appreciate all you've done for me, for raising me and sacrificing for me?" 

I would tell my teenage kids to enjoy that day because in exactly 12 years you are going to be looking at this tape of this day and say “Wow. I didnt have one bill to pay, I didnt know real sickness or real pain or sorrow. My heart hasn’t been broken into pieces, I haven’t had to watch my child suffer through surgery or through an illness or through the pain of loneliness or the world’s unkindness. And yet I still was sassy, or was onery, or miserable because THAT day didn’t go right  or someone said something wrong to me.”

THAT DAY can never be given back–just like today can never be recouped.

The whole theory of being present & mindful is such a struggle for me. I believe one reason is that I am always searching–searching for a better way. Searching for more personal development, searching for positivity and kindness, When I don’t get it I pout. Then I look some more. On and on it goes while each day disappears. Until one day we realize all our chances are fast being used up. Chances to help someone have a better day. The chance to help my patient feel better about being holed up in a 12 x 14 room for weeks on end. The chance to make a difference.

I just want time to slow down. I want to feel every second. I want to live every second. Not to always be looking ahead. I want to live while I can. Life is just too short for weeds, and just long enough for wishes….

It’s funny, I wrote the first part of this blog a few years ago when I was a skilled rehab nurse for mostly the elderly. Today I have a little different perspective.

I don’t necessarily want to hold on to today. Today doesn’t feel great. I know I “should” because things can always get worse.

Some days I wake up with the incredible realization that my son is still alive! A gift that many don’t have. I feel deep reverence on those days until the devil gets his way and needles in little spears of fear.

The challenge of battling those thoughts is what drives me. I read. I write. I practice self-care as much as possible. I try to beautify my little condo to help make my “mind dungeon” {of addiction} tolerable. I cook healthy meals for my husband and try desperately to not talk about my son often. I try to get out of the house and go places fun and interesting. I try to support my other children- when invited.

Whatever is going on in our lives at any given time; we can hopefully make the effort to make our dungeons a palace.

Published by

Samantha Waters

A unique perspective on the world from a small town girl turned big city nurse. Now a grandmother to 6 gregarious, resplendent boys and 5 endearing, magical girls, she strives the make the world a more understanding, pleasant place to experience this intense thing called life.

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