I can be dense sometimes. It is difficult for me to see what someone or something is telling me unless it is obvious. Even then, sometimes these lessons have to repeat before I get it.
But today, I get it. Tomorrow, I may not. But it doesn’t matter about tomorrow because the only place we are supposed to be right now is in the present. In this moment.
Last night, I was reminded of this simple but easily forgettable lesson. I remembered it when the importance of presence in a relationship was stressed during my coaching class. I was hit over the head with it when my daughters and I were playing a board game and the contagious laughter which makes you cry happened. It came again during a phone conversation with someone who I cherish and love. The lesson appeared this morning also when I meditated for the first time in months.
To be present is one of the most important things we can do because yesterday is gone and there is nothing you or I can do about it. Tomorrow is coming but you are not guaranteed to see it. You have now, and that is what you are assured.
I live in my head a lot, and it’s not peaceful in there at times. I know many of you are the same because I’ve read your stories and your comments.
Also, like many of you, I’m trying to find my peace, but it can be difficult when your brain is often flooded by ruminations of the past and worries about the future. But peace is in neither of those places for me or you. Peace is found in the here and now, we just have to recognize that the here and now is being wasted when we aren’t present.
I know it’s not easy to remain in the present. My thoughts don’t allow me that much of the time and yours probably don’t either. I don’t have the answer. You can meditate, you can download an app to give you reminders, you can do whatever works for you. There is no right or wrong answer.
But we should remember we can only appreciate something if we are aware of it. @jefftherunner1 (Click to Tweet!)
And when we live in our heads, stew over the past or are anxious about what may happen, we aren’t aware of what is right in front of us. Of WHO is right in front of us and how special the moment we are in can be. But lack of awareness in the present leads to moments which cannot be replaced — gone forever.
Presence is one of the greatest gifts we can give to others, and it’s also a gift you can give to yourself. When we remain in our heads, we lose out on the moment. When we listen to respond instead of to hear, we lose connection. And when we fail to see all the beauty surrounding us right now, we take everything and everyone around us for granted. All these things we lose out on every day, and we don’t even recognize it. Because we aren’t in the moment.
So today I will recognize when I’m living in my head and not being present. I will recognize when that peace I’m trying to find is being pulled away by my thoughts. I will give the gift of being present to myself and most of all others.
I will come back to the only place I need to be. Where we all need to be.
And that is in the present. In this very moment.
Jeff Barton is a writer, ultra-runner, lover of books and zombies, a practitioner of positive thinking, and most importantly, a dad. Living and loving life one day at a time. You can find him at jeffthewriter.com and jefftherunner.com.
Image courtesy of Jasmin Schuler.