As I sit here planning for the future and remembering the past, I find it incredibly easy to get taken off track, allowing my mind down a rabbit hole of insecurities, fear and doubt. Why is it so easy to get stuck reliving the past over and over or even worse, frozen solid when thinking about what is to come. In my experience I've found that unhappiness comes from an attempt to live in any other moment than the present one.
Generally speaking when a person is reliving the past there are two scenarios that come to mind. The first being that those were the highlight moments, the Friday Night Lights of your life. Those are the moments that are considered the glory days. When those past moments are put up on a pedestal, it makes no room for any other moments to shine through. It blocks your current situation your current top of the mountain achievements from even making the list of highlights in your movie reel of life.
The second is from past hurts. I want to tread lightly here as I never want to diminish or add to the hurts in your life. I do want to help you live your life to the fullest! Living in past hurts again blocks us from the blessings we are experiencing now. It's like wearing blackout glasses so you can never fully appreciate the vibrant colors in front of you and warmth from the sun on your face. Focusing on your rear view mirror allows no room for the new. New love, new opportunities, new relationships, new anything.
Getting focused on the future again presents with a lot of the formerly mentioned. We spend all our time worrying about, fretting for, anxiety ridden about our next moves. Are they the right ones? Will they be fruitful? What if I get hurt again? What if something bad is around the corner?
What if............ it never stops.
What if we put our heads down and in hopes that all the hard work, planning dedication will make us happy. The next thing you know 10, 15, 30 years have gone by and what memories do you have in your treasure bank? What moments did you miss out on because your mind was in other places?
What if you never open up, never take a risk. You live in fear of the future so much that you never do anything. You look up years from now and only have regrets of all the things you wish you would have done in your life.
Live in the present. Put your phone down and look up. See the people around you.. have you told them what they mean to you? Did you take the time to tell someone how much you appreciate them or how about smiling at a complete stranger, possibly changing the course of their entire day.
Have you taken the time to smell the rain and bask in the mist as a rainbow appears with the promise of tomorrow.
Did you play with your kids or go for an evening stroll with your significant other? Did you laugh as you tripped up the stairs and enjoy the silliness of that moment?
Did you make time to enjoy your favorite hobbies and invite others to join you.
Did you see your blessings that surround you every single day or did you choose to ignore them and focus on the things you cannot control and the things you cannot change?
It's so incredibly easy to to focus on all these other things: chores, work, shopping, pay bills, driving time, etc. If they don't happen we get frustrated and angry. We zero in on it. In the grand scheme of life however, it's the people we have around us that cost us grief when they pass. It's the relationships we create and the moments we share that bring true joy. Be present with those around you.
When fear, anger, anxiety coming rushing in will you remember to take a step back and bring your thoughts to the very moment you are in right now. Will you see the people who surround you who you love so much? Will you laugh at the mistakes that are made instead of choosing anger? When people inevitably pass on and leave us, will you honor the special moments you shared instead of focusing on the bad? When you learn to be present, you will walk without fear of the future because right now is all you're guaranteed in this life. Live it to the fullest.