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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkVallarta Living | Veteran Affairs 

Living and Loving Life in This Moment
email this pageprint this pageemail usDavid Lord - PVNN
February 12, 2010

If you would learn to focus only on this moment you will find future moments will be filled, like this one, with meaning and purpose.
You and I experienced the Military way of life, but most of us had a dream of someday (with luck) making it to the civilian side of life. I considered myself whole after the war even with the scars that were both emotional and physical. I felt upon discharge that I was independent and self-sufficient even if beat up some; ready to face the odds and excited by the prospective challenges in the civilian world.

What I had learned in the military was how I could succeed in any situation, against any odds and I believed what I was told. Little did I know that the military life was really a cocoon, it isolated me from the disorder in civilian life. Their rigid code of conduct, where the hierarchy was determined by one's rank gave the military life an inflexible dogma, orders were to be carried out and military policy was to be strictly adhered to.

The military rules being focused on predetermined objectives would gage my success against any defined goal, the objective having a point at which I had succeeded or failed, a point in time that had a finish line. That was years ago, and as I look back now from the civilian side, I see what was clear and defined during military service does not exist in civilian life.

There are few ways to solve a problem in a straight and detailed way, there are no defined targets as such, only the intention of finding some solution to meet some goal. Bit by bit watching the definition of a problem change as more and more information is gathered, add some political correctness, then apply social conscious for the supposed benefit of all.

What was going to be solution of a problem is turned into to a solution for none. It reminds me of attempting to paint with radiant colors, some reds, blues, greens, yellows but then mixing them together before the application so that you come away with no color, only muddy gray.

So when the veteran transitions to civilian life they find the rules they learned no longer apply and no one tells you why, do they? The need for a path of clear direction ends up being any direction, so long as it is forward.

As long as you remain moving and on your feet amongst the herd you may someday break away. Under this stampede for success we keep our balance, but at the cost of our individual being, we become just like everyone else.

Then one day we find that we have broken away from the herd and traveled alone to Mexico. Here it was that we slowed enough to catch our breath, look around and glimpse the beauty of life that we had always run past. We knew that each moment here was a moment in peace and worth many more compared to the herd's chaos.

This new way of living does not require learning. Interesting and rewarding, it only requires your being present in this moment and living life now. Exerting effort is not what will bring you to happiness in life. If you would learn to focus only on this moment you will find future moments will be filled, like this one, with meaning and purpose.

You cannot enjoy life always planning ahead, you only really have this moment, let the thinking subside and enjoy this moment, give it your full attention and understand that the quality you give to it will reflect back making a full, more rewarding life for you.

I will be unable to write a column next week due to surgery on my right hand. We will see how Houston V.A. does. So until next time, SEMPER FI!
David Lord is a V.A. accredited Veterans Service Officer living full time as a resident of Mexico. David is retired from U.S.M.C. for a gunshot wound, his unit received the Presidential Unit Citation at Khe Sanh Combat Base. He was a rifleman with the 1/26th, 5th Marine Division in 1968 during the 77 day Siege at Khe Sahn, then awarded The Purple Heart for a gunshot wound in Quang Tri Province. For more information, email him at david.lord(at)

Click HERE for more Veteran Affairs with David Lord

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