Ever notice that people often tend to reexamine their lives during moments of significant transition? Whether it’s after experiencing the loss of a loved one, losing a job, or being diagnosed with a serious illness we tend to hold off on looking at our lives until we face moments of helplessness. Why is this so often the trend?
The trouble is we think we have time. While I am in no way implying that we should spend our days dwelling on the negative things that could befall us, I would like to encourage us to put more attention on life and living in general. Time is an illusion created in our consciousness. This mental construct has aided us to divert from our truth. Time keeps us from taking on what we can in the moment in exchange for holding out for something else or something more. Time keeps us from saying yes to ourselves. It fools us into thinking we can hold off on taking that dream vacation or changing our career path. It allows us to sit in our stubbornness and hold onto grudges with our fellow-man. Time keeps us from taking those risks that could ultimately lead us to our higher purpose. Time is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The concept of time merely robs us from living in the present. When we believe in the concept of time we to learn to ignore our feelings, emotions and desires and instead push them aside for what we hope will unfold in the future.
It saddens me to know that I too have lived in this way. Always focused on the future and what I needed to do next, I have come to realize how many missed opportunities I have had to be fully present. As I went about my daily routine I was always thinking about the next month or the next year. I was failing at living in the present by dwelling on the idea of a better future. I have pushed off tough conversations for the sake of believing it could be done at a later time. I have put people and things on the back burner because I took for granted that I would have the time to deal with them down the road. “I’ll get another chance.” “It just wasn’t meant to be.” These were statements I found myself saying often and over time I found that they succeeded in making me believe my actions were justified.
Over the course of our lives we have each experienced significant moments where life presented us with opportunities to change our way of being. Whether it was a traumatic experience, a loss or an unexpected financial hardship; in these moments time had a way of standing still. It was at these points in our lives that we were forced to stop, to take notice, and to feel. There was no putting it off till later. There was only the here and now. We needed to act and we needed to act fast. It was during these experiencing that we realized how fragile life is. We realized how limited our time is on this earth, and how a change needed to be made within ourselves if we are ever going to live a full life. These moments served as our wakeup call. “Life is happening right now!” “I’ve missed out on so much.” It’s my turn to live now!” These statements would begin to ring in your mind as you suddenly became aware of all the living you’ve missed out on. Life had been going on without you and it was time to rejoin the living.
While these types of situations can be expected in one’s life time they shouldn’t be relied upon to shake us up. Why wait for a life altering experience to occur when you can chose to alter your life on your own? In order to be fully present one must let go of the concept of time and give into the present. We should not wait to take inventory of our lives during moments of stress or loss, but instead examine our lives in the moment with every choice and action we decide to take. We must start addressing our feelings, wants and needs as they emerge from within us. Saying yes to yourself begins with first listening to what it is your body, mind and spirit are yearning for. Stop ignoring, putting off, or second guessing those internal messages that are being sent to you every second of every day. These moments are your truth just waiting to be acknowledged. Stop dwelling on what may be and step fully into what is right in this moment. Dwell on the beauty of life as you live it. Take in the good, the bad, the triumphs and the hardships and see them for what they are as they occur. Allow for the feelings and emotions that emerge within you to have a voice each and every day. Give yourself permission to listen, question, realize, and ultimately unlock what is true and beautiful about your life and everything around you.
As I was writing this post this morning I received an email from my mother which included a thought-provoking quote ironically on this very subject. I like to think that these words were meant for me and meant for each and every one of you. They are a reminder of how caught up we can all get in attaining what a lot of us believe is the “perfect life”. Perfect is what is happening in this very moment. Embrace the present and dwell on the beauty of life.
Ambition In The City