“Tomorrow is tomorrow.
Future cares have future cures,
And we must mind today.”
I still haven’t figured out why, but sometimes the simplest of concepts are the ones I forget the most easily. I had a reminder of that this week.
There are so many clichés and sayings for staying in the present: Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present; take life one day at a time, it’s the only day that matters; (and one of my favorites) If you have one foot in yesterday and one in tomorrow, you are p!ssing all over today!!
When I focus on today, the here and now, I find that my life is filled with a tremendous amount of peace and contentment. When I just stay focused on today, I don’t have my mind filled with worry racing from one thought to the next until the exhaustion becomes overwhelming.
I always know when I am struggling with being and staying present by two symptoms: trouble falling asleep (and usually waking up with a mind racing that prevented the sleep in the first place) and building up of resentments from arguments in my head that never occurred. And trust me when I say, I am really good at having conflict within myself that never comes to fruition.
A friend once said to me that he hates when he wakes up in the morning and feels like a committee has been making decisions for the last hour before he even woke up. Can you imagine? The feeling of starting your day behind the eight ball even before waking? I can, and it’s miserable.
So I have learned some tools to use when my life gets spinning out of control on yesterdays and tomorrows. The very first thing I need to do is recognize where my mind is. Simple awareness gives me the ability to take action. Second, I need to reach out to God, and ask for help. I can‘t do it on my own, and I never want to try again (that’s what usually puts me in this place to begin with). And lastly, I can break things down to just the very next indicated thing for me to do. And if I can’t figure that out, I pray for the knowledge of what it is.
There are other things I do to stay present more often like meditating and going to 12 step meetings where I hear the brand of crazy that I ascribe to. But nothing so much ensures my likelihood of staying present than a strong conscious contact with a God of my understanding.