All we have control over is the right here and now, and even then, really, we only have control of how we respond to it. we can certainly take action to work toward a goal or act choose actions that allow us to be our best selves, but control, that we can’t do. But when we try to control the uncontrollable we send ourselves spinning off into a task we cannot complete, so many times our need, or want, for control manifests itself in guilt and fear. We feel guilt over what we have done in our past, thinking about what we should have said or done but didn’t in the moment, and we have fear about what has yet to happen, worrying we may not do what we should or get what we want. Neither of these places is a healthy place to live, nor a place we can control, we needlessly spend our energy, time and thoughts trying to control what has already happened, or, what has yet to happen, when we should be focusing on what we can do in this given moment.
When I was living in the dark I spent a lot of time in the past and future. The present was a lonely scary place, and even though I didn’t find much comfort in the past or future, it still seemed better than where I found myself each day. I spent thousands of hours reliving moments or events from my past, berating myself for not doing or saying something I thought I should have, or sitting in fear of what may come. It was all just another way to beat myself up and keep the narrative going that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t deserve good things. And while I was doing that, I was missing opportunity after opportunity to make positive choices in my life in the present. That cycle of living in the past and surfing in the future kept me sick for many years, until finally I couldn’t ignore the present anymore because it had become so unbearable that I could no longer hide or run from it.
It took a lot to sit in the present, to listen and sit still doing only what was in front of my hands. It was really uncomfortable at first and it caused my anxiety to spike most times, but I was told I had to learn to breathe through it to find some comfort there. It took a lot of breathing, but the breath was the key to walking through my anxious thoughts and learning to stay right where I was. Like any new behavior, the more it is practiced the easier it gets, leaving room for days when it seems almost impossible, but with willingness it is something that can be overcome.
Today my mind still wanders back and to the future, but I know I can’t control either, and when it does I take note of why it may be doing that, and what my thoughts are trying to tell me, it may be that there is unfinished business back there I need to address and if my mind is jumping ahead, perhaps there is more work to do right where I am that I know I haven’t done. I know today that I can’t control any part of my life, past, present or future, but I can control how I respond to it, and what action I take to prepare myself for what is to come, and, where I want to go.
It’s easy to escape outside of ourselves and the present moment to look back or ahead, but when it causes us to miss moments right in front of us it isn’t showing ourselves respect and love. We have an abundance of choices each day and all we can do is the best we can in each moment, we may look back and see we could or even should have made different choices, but instead of feeling guilty about it use it as a learning tool, and if we implement that tool in our present-day we don’t need to feel fearful about the future. All we really have right here and right now, what next move will keep you right where you need to be? SLAY on!
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you tend to live in the past or future? What is the result of that? How does that help you? How does that harm you? What keeps you from living in the present moment? How can you change that? What do you try to control in your life? Are you able to? How does it affect you when you can’t? Do you suffer from guilt or fear? How so? SLAYER, the action we can take is in this moment, everything else is out of our hands, use this moment to do something your future self will thank you for.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you