Living in this moment, living in the now, is one of life's greatest challenges. To be fully present is to savor this moment for what it is: the gift of life. It requires setting worries aside and putting sadness behind you, for worry belongs to the future and sadness belongs to the past.
Worries are things unknown, unexperienced; imagined fates we envision to be much worse than they ever will be. When terrible things come to pass, and they will, they deserve our full attention. Somehow being in the trenches of our darkest hour is much more manageable than we ever dream it could be. Our imagination makes our demons more vicious, our futures much darker, our concerns so much worse.
Sadness occurs when we mourn our past. Things have changed that we wish hadn't. When I am overcome with dread or anxiety, I find that my thoughts have drifted from the present moment to a time in the future, of which I know nothing. When sadness overtakes me, I find that once again, I am not living in the now, but am thinking about a moment before this one, that caused me sorrow.
Inhale. Slowly. Exhale. More slowly. That's it. Remind yourself that at this particular time you are safe. You are okay. You are managing. You dwell in possibility, but you do not fear. Fear is useless. Even when everything around you screams chaos, when you focus on your breathing, you realize that the only thing over which you actually have any control is your reaction to the chaos. As long as you are breathing, and focusing on your breath, all is well. Find a mantra that calms you. "Serenity" is my chosen mantra because it soothes me to say it. It is all I hope to find when I am facing difficulties in life.
One of my friends made the plaque pictured above for me. "Live in this moment." It reminds me every day, to focus on what matters. People matter. Charity matters. Family matters. This moment matters, and what I do with it will determine how I feel about how I've lived my life. Each life is simply a series of all of the moments that comprise it.
In this moment, I live in gratitude knowing my children are safe and happy. They may be experiencing trials of their own, but they are dealing with them. I am grateful for the relative good health of my parents. I know that I am safe, and that I am okay. Living a life of awareness and appreciation for each moment as it comes is my goal. It will always be a challenge, but when I focus on what is truly important, I always find myself content and peaceful. Serenity is mine for the asking, if I simply live in this moment, not in the past, which can't be changed, and not in the future, which I cannot control. Right here, right now, is exactly where I need to be.