If you could spend one year in perfect happiness, but afterward remember nothing of the experience, would you do so? Why or why not?
This prompt was recently shared by a member of a journalwriting group I belong to. I replied to it as did another member of the system, both of us agreeing (which can be rare in the system) that we would take the offer. I was curious as to how other people would respond as the prompt deals with memory. I was surprised by the answers.
Before I knew of being multiple, if you would have asked me x years ago, I would have instantly said no. Years back I would not have taken a year of happiness if I couldn’t have remembered it later.
My how time and knowledge and life changes a person.
I can say without a doubt that now I would in a heartbeat take the offer. I wouldn’t hesitate. One thing I have learned since finding out I live in a multiple system is that living in the moment is really all I can do.
Pondering the past too much, though necessary sometimes, would leave me unable to get up ever again. I would be unable to function. Knowing the past, our past, would be a terrible thing. It would simply be too much.
Living in the future, thinking about next year, or even tomorrow for that matter is useless for several reasons. I never know when my tomorrow will be. Sharing a body and loosing time is a fact of my life. Waking up and having it 3 days past what I thought was tomorrow is a frequent occurrence. It’s more than that though. Thinking about the future is not concentrating on today. One of the biggest things I’ve learned on this journey so far is that life is what happens whilst your making other plans. While I waste time about pondering the future and figuring out what it will bring, I am wasting precious time. Time that I don’t have. Sharing a body means there is never enough time to do as you please. Time is precious here, and we all have learned to treasure the time we have, each and every moment of it. Why waste that on what I can’t know.
The future brings surprises no matter how much you think you have it figured out, you don’t.
Believe me I would have sent anyone who had told me I was a multiple to their local psych. ward. When I imagined my future, this was not it. Actually I wasn’t sure I had a future, and then I planned this nice little life with children. But then life happened, reality happened. I didn’t picture being multiple. It happened though. Life is what happened while I made different plans.
That brings me to my point. Why not spend a year in perfect happiness? I do have to ask what that means. Do I get to decide what perfect happiness is? Or is it something that is decided for me? What do I have to loose? Living in the present I would have aproximately 365 days (give or take depending on leap year) to live in happiness to treasure each and every moment. Why worry about what will happen a year from now.
Many in the journal group stated that they would not do it because of the fact they would loose the memory of their year of happiness.
I admit this bewilders me. It makes me wonder and notice how much emphasis is put on memory, and yes how much I don’t fit in. It amazes me that people would turn down a year of happiness because they would loose it. What about those 365 days, that is a lot of time (to me) to remember.
I have learned to live without memory. It is the only experience I know. Do I wish it was different, I honestly don’t know. I don’t know what having memory is like. Therefore I can’t really answer that question. The fact is that I don’t have memory.
I learned early on to make excuses for why I couldn’t remember and to fake remembering to avoid questions I couldn’t answer. After the year of happiness and the memory of it was removed, if I didn’t have to answer any questions from anyone, I would be very happy. One of the things I hate most is having to fake answers, to pretend to be one, to pretend to know and to remember.
I don’t remember from day to day, sometimes from hour to hour and even minute to minute. The idea of remembering for that year perfect happiness, is something that I would jump all over. For me it would be a gift. A gift not only in that sense of having a year of continuous memory (assuming I would), also the ability to be happy.
Quite honestly I would give away my year of happiness to others in the system who don’t even understand the word happiness. The idea that someone else more deserving in the system for an entire year could experience happiness, brings tears to my eyes as I write this. That is a happiness that well surpasses a year of perfect happiness. Especially if I could recall giving away my year of happiness, even if I didn’t recall giving away my year of happiness, knowing for that year that I had done that for a member of the system,would be a year of perfect happiness for me.
I am forced to live in the present. I know that, I accept that. I can honestly say I think often about the past, I get stuck in trying to piece it together. I am most at peace though when I live in the present, not in the future not in the past.
It occurs to me that many people seem to be concerned with the future. I can’t help but think that by living that way, they miss out on now. Now, is a gift. Each moment is a gift, a gift that should be treasured.