Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering [Ida Scott Taylor].
Some things in life are best left in the past where they happened or in the future where they will play out in uncertain ways. When faced with adversity and a future fraught with pain and suffering, the pathway to survival is to stay in “the present.”
I found out last week of another mountain I have to climb in the days and months ahead. You may have a mountain in your future (one you know about or not). If so, these words are for you.
My future holds more surgery – number 9 as a matter of fact. And unfortunately, it promises to be as hard as any of the previous surgeries so far. If I think of it (my painful future), my eyes start to well up with tears because I remember (a painful past) how much I dislike surgery and all the pain that comes with it.
- Live in the present and don’t obsess about the trouble coming in the future
Today, I’m doing some work I love – facilitating a training event for leaders. I’ve patiently waited many months for the strength and mobility to do this work post-accident. The rewards of being back in this arena are very satisfying as I rub shoulders with people and help leaders learn. If I think for any length of time about the future surgery and recovery, it takes me out of the place I want to be – making this present moment beautiful and something to remember for me and others.
What do you do with an uncertain future?
- Lay it down
- Let it go
- Process the impact it has you now
- Learn about it
- Make allowance for it in your planning
- Don’t obsess about it
- Turn any worries into prayers
- Don’t be anxious about the impact it might have on you when it happens
I know enough about my upcoming procedure to practice all of the above strategies to keep me hoping for the best and dancing with the rest!
The 3-in-1 Procedure (to correct a knee that won’t bend past 90 degrees)
- Knee release
- Quadricepsplasty – kwah′dri-seps′plas-tē
[A corrective surgical procedure on the quadriceps femoris muscle and tendon to release adhesions and improve mobility, with the goal of improving the range of flexion of the knee]
- Tibial Tubercle Osteotomy
[the movement of the insertion of the patella tendon by cutting through it and then re-securing it with two screws, in order for it to heal in this new location at the insertion of the patella tendon as it inserts into the top of the tibia or shin bone].
I make a choice to live in the present. How about you? I don’t want to spend my time living in some hypothetical future that may or may not materialize as I imagine it or be stuck in a loop of past memories made up of sleepless nights and losses I can’t quite let go of.
Let’s face it, the future is uncertain. If we keep trying to figure it out, we will end up wasting too much time in unproductive thought and loose valuable mental energy.
If I’ve learned anything during this ongoing loop of repair-recovery-repair-recovery-repair-recovery, it’s that I will receive or find the strength, grace, help, attitude, support, money, stamina, problem-solving-ability, emotional strength to get through whatever is coming.
The heart of the matter is this:
There is no sense living in the past because it’s gone. There’s no sense being stressed by future suffering and uncertainty. The only worthwhile place to live is in the present. That’s where life is. That’s where beauty is created and enjoyed. That’s where we make a lasting difference in the lives of others.
Where are you stuck in the past? What in your future keeps you up at night?
What’s your next step to live fully in the present?
Image source: Free image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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