be

here & now

18 May 2012

everybody keeps saying those words to my love & me.

focus on today. try to just be here. now. the problem is, i keep thinking about the past (fretting & dreaming) & wondering (worrying & dreaming) about the future. feeling overwhelmed & insecure? take it one day at a time. yeah. great advice. ain’t so easy to pull off though. but i’m trying. really trying.

i think i go to the past & the future in order to escape the not-so-pretty-present, whenever something uncomfortable pops up. but, i also think that i worry about what has happened and what will happen in an effort to control things. escapism and worry. two things that will suck the life right out of me. i know that. but, sometimes it’s just so hard. escapism & worry. a sure fire way to ignore the present situation, and therefore, miss out on little moments which may be beautiful ones. at the same time, perhaps escapism & worry serve as a tiny bit of a survival technique, when things are just too difficult to bear. the trick is the balance. i’m most definitely not saying that we should try to avoid feeling sad, depressed, afraid, worried, etc. our feelings are our feelings. it’s good to feel them. the balance comes when we feel them, but don’t dwell on them. don’t let them take over, so that we miss living in the present moment…  which may feel icky at the time, but we will survive.

many times the present is actually better than the past pain or the future worries. those things only bring us guilt & anxiety. focusing on the present allows us to breathe. to soak in the calmness & positive energy around us, whatever it may be. yes, the present is the place to be, the place to exist. the past & the future will always be there, tapping us on our shoulders, creeping up during our days. but, to hold fast to the moment we are in… therein lies our power. and our peace.

5 years ago i was in a weird, tough place. i had a lot of pain from a betrayal in the past that followed me around every day. but, i pushed away that pain, because it was too difficult to bear. instead, i chose to focus on the future. i kept dreaming of a future that was brighter. i lived for that future. i only thought about what was going to happen, and focused all my energy on what might come, how life could be. all the while, i was ignoring how life was. except for every now & then. every few months, then weeks, then days, i turned to a friend(s) and poured out my frustrations/fears/anger/confusion. deep inside i knew that something had to be done, but i was just too afraid; for deep inside, i also knew the outcome of facing the pain. i knew my marriage would end in divorce. so, i let off steam every now and then, facing the reality of the present. but, as soon as i let it out in a conversation with a friend, i went right back to living for the future. telling myself that everything would be better in a few months.

then one day, as i lamented my woes and frustrations to one particularly patient friend (love ya, mean it), he decided to say something. mostly he just listened to me rant & rave. but, on this day, he said something like this: “i’m tired of listening to you complain. i’m tired of seeing you in pain. stop talking about it and do something. you are living for this future that doesn’t even exist yet, and are afraid to look at what’s actually happening. open your eyes and see how life really is every day. notice that the only time you feel ok is when you think about the future and how it could be. you need to be honest and look at how it is now. today. do something.”

ouch. that was painful, but i wasn’t mad at all. i needed to hear that. i was ready to hear that. i needed a friend who loved me that much. because of him, and because i was ready, i did something. and, so began a year of soul-searching, reconnecting with myself, and rediscovering the power of living in the moment. my marriage ended. i decided to move to denmark. i followed my soul. i listened to my heart. i lived in the moment. and i fell in love.

now, 5 years later, i am reminded of the power of living here & now. it has become difficult for me to do that recently, but i learned my lesson years ago, so i will fight to stay in the present moment. i will soak it up. no matter what comes my way, i am not alone. i have found a great love with whom to share my life. and together, we will fight for this moment, to stay in the present moment, to live life. it’s not easy, but we have each other. and that makes all the difference.

to all you out there wondering at times, like me, how you will make it… i have some advice for us. slow down. close your eyes. breathe deep. feel your soul & know that, come what may, all will be well. all the pain serves as a lesson to make us who we are today. all of our dreams propel us to the future & keep us inspired. but, right now, even in the midst of chaos, if we take it one moment at a time, we will get through it.

sending you strength & peace.

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  • Reply Victoria Oldham 19 May 2012 at 12:01

    It can be so very difficult to live in the moment. I, like you, was constantly focusing on my past and future. My (amazing) therapist said: but you’re missing NOW. Worrying about things you can’t change in the past, and worrying about things with a billion possible outcomes is a total waste of time. Focus on the now, and the future will take care of itself. it’s hard to do, but how wonderful to really SEE her smile, feel her touch, see the raindrops, rather than be looking past them for something that doesn’t exist?
    Hang in there. it’s worth fighting for.

    • Reply liz 21 May 2012 at 08:47

      thanks, vic. it’s really great to know that i’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed by the present moment. i know that i will survive, and that it’s all worth it… but, it’s so great to hear some cheers from another person as well. thank you!

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