I read this:
Live in the moment…
Be here now…
This moment is all there is…
Enjoy the present moment…
I heard this:
Forget about everything else in your life! Forget about all the shit you did in the past! Don’t think about how that person hurt you! And the future – who cares?! Who cares if your house isn’t clean for your company arriving tomorrow! Who cares if you’re not prepared for leaving on that trip in three days! Who cares if you have no clean underwear! Drop everything and do fun things now! You are wasting your life if you can’t be happy now! You should be happy now! Forget everything else! Wait, what? You can’t? But you have to! You are a failure if you can’t live in the moment!
I don’t hear this anymore.
I knew this was an important concept to understand because I was seeing and hearing it in so many different places. I also knew I had to learn what it meant for me. I had to deal with the past. I had to think about the future.
I was holding onto stuff in the past. There was a cloud hanging out, blocking the view. It was my perception that was causing me to suffer. And I had to forgive. Come along with me here. I had to forgive my husband for putting his job before his family. Okay, lets break this down because this statement is yucky. I can see that clearly now. He was working hard to provide for his family. We were blessed he had this job. Our kids were able to grow up learning from their dad’s incredible work ethic. The time away wasn’t really a burden once I started valuing the time we had together. So, it turns out he didn’t really need my forgiveness. I had to see that it was me thinking I was victim of these circumstances. I had to change my thoughts. I had to turn this around. So I forgave myself for what I had done to hurt my family in this particular situation. That was the hard truth. It was me, all me. When I did that, everything else fell into place. My husband saw he was appreciated. My kids saw me supporting him, instead of being annoyed by his work. When I changed the way I looked at things in the past, that changed everything. That cloud blocking the view? I put it there. And I had the power to take it away.
I had to get clear about the future. I was filling up a giant backpack of stuff for my kids to carry out into the world. I was under the impression that I had to do everything that I could possibly to do to raise my kids to be wonderful, amazing, special human beings. There’s another yucky statement. I was so focused on the possibility of them doing things right in the future, that I was totally missing everything they were doing right today. I pointed out all the things they did wrong in an effort to make sure they did things right, someday down the road. I was showing them that they had to do a million different things to be okay in the world. I was missing that they were just fine already, simply by being themselves. I didn’t see that what I was trying to do for my kids was actually having the completely opposite effect. I had to change my thoughts. I had to turn this around. I enjoy them for the unique and loving creatures they are right now. I let them take off that backpack and leave it behind. I’m able to see their heart, in the moment. And I forgave myself for not seeing them before. That giant backpack I was making them carry? I put it there. And I had the power to take it away.
For me, the present moment is actually all about the past and the future. I pause.
I think about the past. Yes, what’s done is done and I can’t change it. But it has to be dealt with. I can’t push it down and pretend it never happened. I take action and deal with the old crap and do what I need to do to let go. It’s all up to me.
I think about the future. Nope, I can’t control it. But I get clear about what I want for myself and for my family. I look at what I’m doing now and ask, is it really making what I want to happen, happen? I take action towards the way I intend to live and let go. It’s all up to me.
When I let go of past and present, I can be here now. I have to take action to turn off the noise of everything that’s preventing me from being here now. Letting go isn’t passive, it’s active. I have to do something to turn down the volume.
There’s a lot of noise in this here head, my friend. But there’s no “Wooohoooo drop everything!!” The only way I can feel free is if I have done the work to sort out everything in my mind. (Well, not everything, because that’s totally impossible.) When I turn the volume down, I’m pushing that cloud aside, and dropping the weight of that backpack. I’m left with a clear view and a light load. A clear view to see everything beautiful in this moment, and a light load to feel free enough to take it all in. I can see and feel all that life has to offer me, in this teeny tiny moment.
Is this teeny tiny moment full of love and beauty all I have?
I let myself cry tears of joy. I am so grateful.