I think one of the hardest lessons in life for people is learning to live in the present. Of course, I’ve had the benefit of having time to learn this lesson over the years. I know that it’s the only way I can live. The past is gone, I can reflect on it and learn from it, I can remember it and try to heal from it, I can have it flash back and have sweet memories. But it IS gone! The future is yet to be. Neither the past or the future is NOW. We must live in the now. What we do now determines how our future becomes, how our opinions develop, how our hearts accept.
If we are so focused on the future we forget to enjoy the present, we don’t appreciate what we have right in front of us now. We don’t appreciate the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings, the people we are with — now. We need to remember to be mindful of our surroundings and the people in our lives in the present.
a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
When we lose our focus on the now or when we start becoming concerned about other’s opinions of us we begin to lose our own identity. Our own original ideas, our opinions or what feels correct and right. We do not accept our own feelings and sensations and worry about what other’s think about us. You know what, what they think about us is not our problem. It is theirs! It’s their awareness of their surroundings, of their perceptions and what they perceive may not even be what you may think. You may think they are looking at you with disdain or judgment. When they may be looking at you and thinking how strong you are, how good you are, how brave you are for defying odds, for overcoming prejudice, for overcoming illness, for overcoming any difference of popular opinion.
I’ve come to the point in my life I don’t even notice that other people may be looking at me differently. I know I dress in my own style, I have my own set of different friends of different walks of life, ages, colors, and lifestyles. I enjoy my time with them. I don’t pay attention when other people look at us. I focus on the time and the experience I’m having with my friends, it’s valuable to me. It’s a memory in the making. I love the sensations and the connections I get with good friends, it is a soul connection. It feeds my heart to overflowing. I am selective with those I let into my circle. I have to be. I am too empathic to allow toxic and negative emotions invade my thoughts.
Being bipolar, I carefully monitor my daily activities and try very hard to enjoy what I can, when I can. I avoid negativity whenever possible. It takes a terrible toll on me. I try not to overthink things, and it distresses me when others start overthinking things “for me or on my behalf”. Living in the moment doesn’t mean I’m not taking responsibility for my actions, it just means I am absorbing, enjoying, acknowledging every possible good sensation there is today. I give what I want to give to others, we can enjoy each other’s friendship with love and respect for each other’s feelings, beliefs, and space. Together we can give each other the nurturing and love that I think is true love. It’s not sexual, it’s not necessarily physical, but a spiritual and deep soulful love.
In the final reckoning, I don’t want to lie on my deathbed and say I had regrets. I don’t want to say I wish I had done something different. Because even with all the mistakes I have made in my life, they have taught me very valuable lessons. I have loved. My heart has ached and been broken, but it has felt joy once in awhile too. I have been alone and lonely, and I have liked my solitude at times. I enjoy the perfume of spring and the perfume of the crisp fall air while walking through a farmers market. I have lived every day in the moment now for many years, I will continue to live this way for the rest of my life.
In my opinion and it is only my opinion and perception, living this way is the only way I can live in total awareness and appreciation of what has been offered to me and the only way to love my friends and family. Give them your time and focus in the moment, don’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow or other people’s opinions, but give them your time and focus today and in the now.