Thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow tend to consume our current headspace. The case of woulda, coulda, shoulda, is the story of many of our lives. On the flipside the case of when I, when this happens, when that happens completes that story.
It’s amazing how much time we spend living in our minds and in our thoughts. I know many of us do because that’s the only place where yesterday and tomorrow exist, but what about today? What about now? What about the time and space you are in at this very moment? The space you are living and breathing in now? What can you appreciate about that time and space? I know it’s not always easy to think this way because our minds are programmed to always think about what has gone wrong and what will go wrong.
According to studies, 90% of our thoughts are negative and repetitive. We tend to replay the same bad things over and over again throughout the day. Personally speaking there have been days that I was in my warm bed, not needing food, or shelter, just lying there thinking about how terrible the day is going to be. I wasn’t even able to appreciate the fact that I woke up, I was in a nice comfy bed, I could go and have some breakfast if I wanted and etc. I was creating an image in my mind of a bad day that hadn’t even happened yet and maybe wouldn’t even happen!
How many of us have anticipated bad days, conversations, experiences and the like because that’s where our minds took us? I can admit I have, and it’s a miserable place to be. Now that I’m aware of it I made the decision to become present in the NOW! Life is now, and now and now. So many times we live in the place when we were skinny for example and how we’re going to look when we get back to a size 2, but in the present moment NOW, I’m not taking the time just to appreciate life, appreciate who I am and just feel fulfilled in the present moment while working on the change I want to see. We can never experience fulfillment if we’re always having these compulsive thoughts because we’ll never be at peace in the moment which leaves us rolling around on a hamster wheel that gets us nowhere.
We let distractions, the future and the past to dictate how we feel right now. We can create scenarios in our own mind that can sabotage the current happiness we have. Once again I lived like this for a long time and becoming aware is what helped me. I just had to realize that I couldn’t control what happened before and I can’t control what will happen. All I have is now and now and now. I didn’t want to continue to base my happiness on what might or might not happen. I wanted to rid myself of the feelings of exhaustion and discouragement because I was becoming what I was thinking.
How did I do this?
By shifting my focus from my mind and becoming present in the moment I am currently living and deciding my happiness doesn’t require the completion of a story that I made up in my head. Whatever I need at the moment I can have and I can stop and do that without letting my mind make me feel like I’m failing at a future that is already made up!
No I’m not where I hope to be in life and in no way am I saying never to go back and evaluate what happened and don’t be prepared for the future. I am a huge advocate of preparation, planning, goals, vision and everything of the sort but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate this day, this moment and what it holds, I don’t have to be held captive by my past or the future and if the story I have written doesn’t materialize then I still have NOW, and NOW and NOW to keep living and keep moving and I have to believe that it didn’t work out the way I thought it would for a reason, evaluate that reason, hold to the vision, and change something NOW! Life is real, it is not a mental projection of my past or my future it is now and I really think we will experience fulfillment when we just allow ourselves to be.
It’s hard to control compulsive thoughts and emotions but you can. It really takes an awareness of yourself and the desire to just live in the moment. Meditation, breathing, walking, just existing with a clear, uncluttered mind can help you appreciate just being you, how beautiful you are as God’s creation, and how beautiful God’s creation is in general. You will begin to see that He knows what is best for you, even if you think you do and you will be present in the moment HE has given you NOW! Yes we all have a past and hopefully a future but the present is a gift so enjoy it. Don’t be so focused on what your mind contrived. What are you doing with your NOW to get there? If it is laying in the bed worrying about things you can’t control then you are wasting your NOW on negativity that will get you nowhere.
Jesus said it best in the Gospel of Matthew 6:
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
There’s so much to be concerned about but not a lot we can control. What we can control is what we do NOW, what we think NOW, and how we react NOW and everything else about NOW. Take your thoughts captive and allow yourself to be present. Presence, vision, and faith will have you where you need to be at the right time.
You’ll never get back those NOWs you let go from living in your mind but you can capture your next NOW and every one after it. Life is happening NOW and you need to be a part of it. It’s not a desitination it’s a journey.
Truly Living My Best Life NOW