I used to think I was living in the present, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. Actually, it wasn’t until I was living in the present when I realized how hard it was to live in the present! It requires you to become an observer of your experiences and a shift in mindset. I realized this one day when I was fighting with my boyfriend, which eventually led us to break up. Reflecting back, the underlying issue was that I was living in the past and he was living in the future. With two conflicting mentalities, no wonder we broke it off within a week after the fight.
MY TURNING POINT…
To keep my love story short, I am an affectionate person and was not out of our honeymoon stage after 7 months of dating. While we were affectionate in the beginning of our relationship, he is not that type of person. It also didn’t help that he had concerns that our differences would become a major problem in the future. The more and more I voiced why things have changed from the past, it only affirmed to him that our list of our differences were growing and that we weren’t going to work in the future. We both didn’t focus on what we had now. Of course though, I didn’t realize this until I began to observe and reflect on our relationship from an outsider view after we broke up.
BECOMING A THIRD-PARTY OBSERVER…
After my breakup, I replayed the fight numerous times in my head. It was painful and exhausting at first. The tears never seemed to stop and the only thing I could focus on was why was this happening to me again. But as I continued to replay the image over and over again, the pain lessened and clarity began. I just observed. How was I feeling before the fight? What were my thoughts that led up to the emotions? What actions did I take in result of my emotions? How about the other side? Did they respond well to my actions? What got them emotionally? What was their breaking point? These observations allowed me to see all the triggers that led to my outcome. You see, I was so focused on wishing things would go back to the past that is triggered my bad mood, which ultimately made me behave in a way that would only hinder my relationship.
Instead, if I had been living in the present, I would have let go of those thoughts and feelings and focused on what I could do to make the relationship stronger today. What if I tried to get him more involved with what I was doing? Could I have asked him if I could join in with whatever he was doing? Was there moments I could have built happier times between us?
Living in the present is focusing on what you have now and asking yourself “have you done the best you can in that moment?” Because as long as we did our best then we have no regret, even if we don’t get our way completely or don’t get our way at all. Remember, our best effort, as well as time, will eventually tell us whether or not the thing or person was meant to be ours or if it was just a thing we had to go through to open up a new chapter in our lives.
MY STORY TODAY…
When I realized what I had learned from my past, I knew I had to move on to the present. I asked myself what I wanted and what I could do today to get closer to my goal. I thought about all the actions I could take that would make me more successful. But in addition to all of this, I told myself that I would make the commitment of evaluating whether or not I lived in the moment for every aspect of my life on a daily basis. Did I hustle at work and my blog? How did I express my love/care in all my relationships? Did I take care of my body today? If not, I knew I had to recommit myself again.
I contacted my ex after this realization because I knew one of my goals was to have him in my life again. I expressed to him what I learned and how I would live in the present (by chasing him) even if I didn’t know if we would get back together. He smiled and referenced me as Wild E. Coyote and him as the roadrunner.
Living in the moment is observing your experiences and asking yourself these questions daily: “What is it that you want?” “What are all the solutions available to you?” and “What is the action best for you?” Remind yourself every morning on what you want and figure out what you can do currently throughout the day to get to where you want to be. Remember the past you can’t change and the future you can’t predict. If all you have is what is in front of you today, why not focus on the best you can do at the moment? Don’t beat yourself up though when your best effort doesn’t lead you to where you want to be today. Best is never a wrong path. When there is no 100% guarantees in life, our best always leads us to an amazing destination or opens an unexpected chapter in our life, even if it wasn’t the one that you thought of initially.