I’m a big proponent of passing along what I’ve learned through my various experiences. Not to preach, but to connect with others who are enduring similar situations. My blog is called The Presents of Presence which is all about being in the moment. But as we all can attest, not every moment feels like a gift. Sometimes we feel like we’ve been kicked instead.
With Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the lesson for me is clearly meant for my blog. It’s in being in the present and finding the good in the now. Finding the gift in connecting with others, no matter how brief it is, no matter how small it feels.
In my experience with my loved ones, I’ve learned that we can relax and just be and that this is, for the most part, how they now live their lives. There’s almost like an amnesia from the dark past experiences that evaporates. It is almost with childish simplicity that they live with the disease. There’s not a lot of wondering what’s next or what happened before this very moment, except when sundowners hits. It’s a focus on what’s right here that counts. They live most fully in the now without reservation.
Think about that for a moment. Can you wrap your mind around that?
What that means is no holding onto grudges, no revisiting conversations, no worrying about the future, no obsessing over the past, no self-criticism, no blaming someone else, I could go on and on.
It’s about, acceptance for the here and now in whatever form it takes.
I admire the people I know who have the disease for the courage to accept and be with the present at all times as I think that would be a hardship for many of us. Yet, by their freedom, they are role models for us all. Yes, I understand that they didn’t choose this disease. Yes, I understand how heartbreaking it is when our loved ones have it. But there’s a choice to mourn the loss by the disease or to find the positive in accepting what we deem unacceptable with the disease.
For me, I’ve got to find the positive and if that means, I have to change my way of thinking to expand it to gratitude for learning how to really find The Presents of Presence in every part of life’s journey and not just give it lip service, then so be it.