My mother sent me this text in an email the other day. I’m not sure what it’s from – but what truth it holds for me right now … and any time.
“I wonder what’s wrong? It feels like I’m wandering through a swamp
wearing concrete boots.”
“Silly girl, nothing’s wrong. God just doesn’t want you to miss
Slow down, be present. It’s not that you take the good with the bad.
It runs deeper than that. The good, the bad, and the in-between start
to run together and become inseparable. Together, they paint the
picture of a life. We can’t create a good scrapbook unless we can
remember what happened. We can’t remember if we weren’t there.
The magic isn’t tomorrow or in some far-off place. The magic is in
the moment and the exact details of the situation we’re in right now.
Practice being present for ourselves, our emotions, other people, God,
work and life.
Being fully present for each emotion–and for each moment–isn’t just
a grief survival tool. It’s a practical and valuable way to live life.
Being present may be particularly useful when we are going through a
difficult time, dreading what we are going though, not knowing what’s
coming next, or starting something new. It’s also helpful when we find
ourselves moving too fast, overly distracted, worried, anxious, overly
focused on outcomes, living in the future or past–or when we find
ourselves inconvenienced by wearing those concrete boots.
Most of us want what we don’t have, including being somewhere other
than where we are. Sometimes we’re not present because we genuinely
don’t like where we are or whom we’re with–being present would bring
that reality home. Fear, anxiety, guilt, and other unresolved emotions
from the past can block our ability to be present now.
Living in the present moment doesn’t just mean showing up and
thinking. It involves slowing down and moving down, into our heart.
The hardest part about being here now, wherever that is, is that
sometimes it hurts. The good thing about it is, if we’re present for
each emotion, we’ll be present when joy comes around too.