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While I’ve never been keen on New Year’s resolutions, participating in past One Word 365 challenges has been worthwhile.

Early in 2014, I found a song that dovetailed with my 2014  One Word: Pause, leading me deeper into a habitual action of Pausing. Pausing may not seem like an action word, but it is full of action, the action of NOT doing. Jason Mraz’s song Living in the Moment begins with the phrase: “If this life is one Act, why do we do lay all these traps, we put them in our path, when we want to be free….”

Living in the moment resonated more and more with me as the cascading challenges of my painful chronic illness have continued to dash hopes of achieving my dreams.

My year of pausing to live in the moment was not one of unending smiley days. Living in the moment meant pausing to experience grief and loss. Living in the moment meant pausing to embrace isolation and rejection. Living in the moment meant pausing to endure crushing pain and despair.

Pausing to live in the moment meant living totally Alive through, in, and with each life moment, however frequently the moment was pain-filled. I was oh so tempted to remain in Pause.

Until,  I viewed the movie Hachi.

Briefly, it is based on a true story about a dog named Hachi. After his owner’s sudden death, Hachi returns at 5pm daily to their train station to await his owner’s return from work, as was their custom. At first, watching Hachi’s daily vigil of staring at the train station door, one feels the depth of Hachi’s unending duty and devotion. One is inspired by such loyalty. Despite people’s loving attempts to encourage Hachi to share his deep love and devotion with others, Hachi ejects them all. Instead, he waits each day for a moment that will never happen. For ten long years he loves no one but his dead owner.

But, this is the ultimate PAUSE, staying in a moment that is unchanging, a moment that gives neither joy nor sorrow. Hachi is not living in a joyful moment of being with his owner. Instead, he lives and remains in a paused moment, awaiting his owner’s return for joy to occur. This is not a life affirming pronouncement of living in the moment, but a stagnation, a life of non-living of new moments.

553360_345492502195288_1489654127_nUltimately, one’s life sufferings must provide purpose, growth and intention. One must move on, for even with limitations, there is life yet to be shared and to be lived.

My illness forces too much pause on pursuing goals and dreams; it will remain this way. Yet, my living in the moment year affirms how fragile life is, its inherent briefness. I believe we all have something in our lives that interferes with goal fulfillment. Whether it be low self-esteem, time constraints, financial concerns, or health issues, we must move on.

Hard work is necessary to achieve what makes life worthwhile. Unlike Hachi’s permanent life pause, my future life can hold hopes and dreams.

Through acceptance of all joyful and sorrowful life moments, there will always be more to embrace in living.603449_10151170891928278_2047838625_n

Reaching for our dreams, within our life limitations, is to live appreciating life’s unique moments. And so, I am compelled to: MOVE ON.


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