How many times have you caught yourself either reminiscing about the good old days or feeling anxious about the future? Well, this has been the story of my life these past weeks.
You see, I found myself in this predicament after commencing the Elite Bloggers Academy course in late February. I started the course with enthusiasm. Being a goal oriented person, I even set a target for myself on when I wanted to complete this course. A month or so into the course, I realised I would not be able to meet my target. There was so much for me to do and learn and to be honest it was over whelming.
As a result of all this over whelm, I began reminiscing about the past and what life would be like if all that happened had not taken place. There are days I wish life was more certain and I knew where this journey I have embarked on would lead to. I started questioning whether what I am doing is God’s will for me. In some cases worry set in when I thought, what if this thing does not work out the way I desire it to. You can imagine the result of all this has been nothing but stress.
Perhaps I am not the only one who finds myself in this predicament. It happens to all of us once in a while. One day you are moving on and enjoying life then suddenly changes happen and you are left in abeyance. When such times happen, one will either reminisce about the past or they will start getting anxious about the future. Maybe a few years ago everything in your life seemed certain. You had so many plans for the future but suddenly everything took a different turn and you are wondering what life is going to be like.
We all know that fulfillment in life comes when you choose to live in the moment and cherish what is before you. This of course is easier said than done. Below are two simple things I am practicing to help me deal with life’s uncertainties and live in the present moment.
Keeping my WHY before me.
Nothing steals joy like living in the past. Indeed “there can be no growth for today if we live in our yesterday”. Every time we opt to live in the past or the future we are stealing from today. So much so that the scriptures even urge us not to worry about tomorrow since, “each day has enough trouble of its own”.
Your WHY could be your purpose or belief or the reason you find yourself in the situation you are in. Maybe you had to leave an abusive relationship. Or You had to make a decision to stick to your values and beliefs. In my case, I had to honor our choice to be together as a family so that our children would be raised by both their parents. (You can read more about that here). Given that our WHY’s differ, it helps to keep them in front of you when the going gets tough and you begin to question your decisions.
Focusing on the reason I started the blog in the first place keeps me going. This is mostly on days when I read comments in the face book group and it seems like everyone in the EBA course is registering success except me.
Sometimes we fail to stay in the present moment because we have let ourselves focus on other people’s WHY’s. Someone correctly observed that “we should not compare our beginning with another person’s middle”. Instead, let us learn how to put our hope in God’s unfailing love. We should trust that he will satisfy our longings and enable us to be fulfilled.
Accepting the situation as it is.
Another strategy I am using to stay in the present moment is to accept life as it is. It is important to let things be especially if it is not within your control to make them be otherwise. During times I have found my thoughts slipping back to the past, I immediately turn the focus on what is before me and I begin to list all the good that has come out of my decisions and shift my concentration.
Worrying and wishing that things worked out in a different way only lead to stress. Agonizing about the future does not add anything to our lives, it only takes away the joy of the moment. Instead, we should learn to accept the situation as it is and trust God to make right what is wrong.
Ours is not to be anxious but prayerfully and thankfully present our requests to God. We should learn to pray for God’s peace as we go through the situations in life that we wish would have been different.
In my case, when I embarked on blogging, I had no idea what it entailed. It is after I have done this course (which is very useful for anyone considering blogging) that I am discovering it takes much more than writing (which is the part I love). My learning curve is very steep and all I can do is put my trust in God and cast my cares to him believing he will sustain me on this journey.
Living with gratitude
As I accept the situation I find myself in, I am also learning to be thankful for what the day presents me with. When you live with gratitude, it enables you to see that you are registering some wins and should keep going with life. When you are thankful for what is before you, it is difficult to live in the past or worry about the future.
I believe living in the present moment is a challenge for many of us. Please pray that these strategies will enable me to be a person who lets the past stay where it is and not be afraid about what tomorrow will bring.
What about you, what strategies do you use to stay in the present moment? please share in the comments section.