Two things happen to keep us from living in the now. The past and the future. What we do with these two threats to living in the now will determine the quality of our life.
Why is living in the now so important?
- Because “now” is what’s real and where life happens!
- Because anywhere else but “now” is in your mind
- The past lives as a memory
- The future lives in your imagination
There is a time and place for reflecting on past memories and dreaming future dreams but only if they are in sync with a healthy now.
When I hit the pavement 18 months ago, my future took a major hit. My plans for working, playing, running, helping, making a difference went down with me.
My past also took a hit. I was upset because I had invested time and energy in myself only to have my skill set put on hold until who knows when. The past and the future were now in partnership to mess up my life.
Then one day a light came on in my head and I realized I had it all wrong. I realized I needed to let go of the past, stop tripping on the future and come down to earth.
You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it
leaves your arms too full to embrace the present (Jan Glidewell).
What does living in the now give us?
- A heightened self-awareness
- An ability to grieve our losses
- Lowered anxiety
- Open doors to help others
- New ideas to grow up
- Streams out in the desert
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (God to Isaiah).
What do you have to do to get to now?
- Be aware – of where you are right now.
- Be gone – with past regrets and any memories holding you back.
- Be OK – with an unknown future.
- Be full – of faith to combat any fear of the future.
- Be open – to your senses and take in what you feel, see, smell, sense, hear.
- Be ready – to ask for help if it gets overwhelming.
- Be at peace – with what you learn and discover.
One dark day during my recovery I came face to face with the realization I was emotionally not OK. But instead of running from those raw emotions, I stayed present with them and eventually found peace. The peace came when I could say with confidence, “I’m OK with not being OK.”
Living in the now – gives you something to do!
With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future.
I live now (Ralph Waldo Emerson).
Forget past mistakes. Forget failures.
Forget everything except what you’re
going to do now and do it (William Durant).
Living in the now – opens doors to new opportunities!
If you are staring at the past or into the future your eyes can’t see the doors that are opening up right in front of you.
Your big opportunity may be right where you are now (Napoleon Hill).
The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post (L. Thomas Holdcroft).
In what way are you letting the past or the future interfere with your present living? What needs to change in order to be fully present with now?
Image source: Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
To receive each new post by email when they come out, enter your email address on the top right at www.camtaylor.net. And I welcome your comments!