I know, I know, this is so much easier said than done, but why is it that there are so many of us worried about something that has already happened, or stressed about what is yet to come? How often do you ever find yourself enjoying the moment that you are currently in? With so much going on in our lives, it is easy to allow our minds to be elsewhere, but it’s about time that we make a conscious effort to live our lives in the moment, and stop allowing things that have or haven’t happened to take away from the only moment we truly have: right now.
“Living in the moment” is a phrase that is often tossed around in conversation, but how is it accomplished? How do we learn to shut off our minds, and truly experience our lives in the here and now? PRACTICE. The only way to get better at something is by incorporating it into your everyday routine, and accepting the fact that there are going to be days that you would rather not be a part of. We don’t get to pick and choose which moments we live through, because with the good, is going to come the bad, but this is the beauty of life. One thing that has helped me to live in the present, is waking up each morning with the mindset that I can change my life whenever I want. At the end of the day, we are in control of our own actions, and nothing is forcing you to remain in the situation that you find yourself in. The changes may not happen overnight, and it may be something that you struggle with, but all in due time, you will reap the benefits of what it’s like to live in the moment, and you will find yourself wondering why you didn’t do this so much earlier.
The past vs. the future: Why do we keep ourselves in the moments that are no longer here, or the ones that we have yet to experience?
This is something that has always mind boggled me. For me, the past has always been something I have kept myself in. I do not think I am alone when I say that I have kept myself heartbroken much longer than I should have, all because I get lost in the idea of what was, instead of facing the fact of what is. I would recall simpler times when I didn’t have to stress about paying so many bills, acting my age, or making so many “mature” decisions. The past is easy to get lost in. You will find yourself remembering the times that made you happy, and the memories that once made you smile. The past has a funny way of making you forget about all the bad memories you experienced as well. I glorified the past by making it seem like it was the best time of my life; as if things, would never be better than that. It was as if I was living my life on repeat, with each morning being another reminder of what, or who, is no longer in my life. It took me a long time to see that this was a blessing. When you can see the past as what it truly is, THE PAST, you will be one step closer to living in the current moment. We mustn’t focus so much on what has already happened. Apply the lessons you have learned from that time, but never keep yourself in a memory that already served its purpose.
Living in a moment that has not yet happened is something I am still trying to get away from. It is hard to not think so much about what will come of all of this, and we can’t help but over think about our futures. If you are anything like me, you have this ability, or better yet, desire to create situations in your head as a way of trying to play out what your life can become. I think it is a coping mechanism for hoping that your future is as bright as you want it to be. It is easy to imagine an easier life, with less problems, more success, and all the happiness you could ever want. Although, I do believe that this is a good mindset to have, I do not think we should get in the habit of putting so much pressure on what we cannot experience until it is actually here. Forward thinking is good; you should always set goals, and strive to be better than you were yesterday, because that is simply just growth. We must hope for brighter days, and believe that all our struggles are for something, but we should not keep ourselves from experiencing the moments that are propelling us to the ones we dream about. Right now, is the time that we are given so we can build what it is that we want for ourselves. I used to have bad anxiety when it came to living in the future and what it will look like, and I would be lying if I said that it still doesn’t stress me out at times. I have come to realize that if we don’t focus on what we are doing right now, we will never get to appreciate the moments that got us to where we want to be.
Don’t get so caught up in what your life has been thus far. When we accept the fact that we cannot change what has shaped us into who we are today, we can start working towards being the person that we want to become. It starts with right now. Wake up each morning and brush off yesterday, work for today, and prepare for tomorrow; but enjoy the little moments that happen in between. The things that ultimately shape us into becoming who we are meant to be, are the same things we have been missing out on when focusing too much on what’s behind, and what’s ahead.
and smile at the moment,
because this is where you are,
and this is the beginning of what’s to come.