Learning to Live in the Moment

I think I’ve found myself in the midst of my dark days where I am frantically figuring out what direction to take won’t go into details, but the past few weeks have been filled with a series of immense loss that I find difficult to put into words. It’s coming to a close, I think. Or at least I thought it was; that is, until I realized I spent four hours writing down what’s been happening to me the past few days without ending it with some sort of nightcap of a paragraph. You know, one that would make me feel rather grateful or appreciative of everything that’s happened thus far.

Maybe I’m at that point where I can’t be uplifting or inspiring. This, I told myself as I enveloped myself in blankets, covered from the bleakness. I’ve always hated it when I’m not able to come up with any sort of solution or game plan when I encounter difficulties. My coping mechanisms would consist of making up flowcharts or bulleted lists to make better sense of situations; to sift and isolate turbulent emotion so I could at least get a better perspective. Suffice to say, they didn’t work. The moments of clarity couldn’t get rid of the nagging feeling tugging my heart down to my stomach. I hated it when things were out of my control;  when I felt I had to surrender to the universe, regardless of what it had in store for you. It was a slap in my face that any semblance of a happy ending, or at least even one in the form of epiphanic internal resolve, didn’t exist yet.

There’s this interesting concept we learned in the classroom a year ago called benevolent deception. Our professors told us how this would allow us to exercise therapeutic lying, where you withhold from your patients information deemed to be destructive for them. Little did I know, I would be doing this to myself first before doing it to any of my future patients; it became clearer how much of the pain lingered because of the deception I wanted to see. What’s funny was that it wasn’t because of the lie that things were going to be okay, applied haphazardly like some sort of anesthetic. Rather, the salt on the wound never seemed to dissolve because of the delusion that I had to know exactly what was going to happen to me; that I had to know what I was going to do next to be able to feel better, which was possibly the worst sort of lie I could tell myself at this point.

It’s easy to move forward when you’re able to pin down what you can blame. It’s easy to pick apart scenarios and problems and overanalyze how we feel about them as we struggle to build a façade of control. It’s easier to feel angry and bitter at something outside of yourself rather than lost and confused inside your own head. But maybe we have to go through all of that before we begin to even reach the denouement and draw everything together. The thing is, you shouldn’t have to punish yourself if you don’t have it all figured out. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking that having all the answers already is the only way you’ll find yourself at peace. Maybe it’s okay for the time being. Maybe it’s okay to be a little lost before we are found.

I guess, as someone trying to pick up the pieces day by day, I’m learning that it is okay to be this vulnerable. There’s beauty in the rawness of accepting things as they are at the moment, and accepting it is enough. Maybe I have to learn that it is okay to stop problem solving for a while, and to just take everything in. While it’s important to be determined to seek resolution, it’s equally important to be honest with yourself and to realize that time will sort through the problems you can’t figure out for yourself. Maybe in the meantime, all you’ll have to do is breathe.

About the Contributor

Natasha Jacinto is a recent BS Physical Therapy graduate from UP Manila who firmly believes in the marriage of art and science. She hopes to illustrate the beauty in movement, although she tends to color outside the lines. Through her craft, she wishes to promote the advocacies of PWD inclusivity, accessible healthcare, and gender equity; and to sustain a lifestyle where she can raise a pack of dogs, among other things.

This contributor is a customer of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

Artwork by Natasha Jacinto. For more of her works, visit her Instagram.

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