Thursday, June 3, 2010

NaBloPoMo - Day 3: Live the present moment

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.
~ Buddha

I suffer from anxiety which got aggravated during the collapse of my marriage.

I would scrutinize about what went wrong in my marriage and when it all started to go wrong. Why didn't I fix it when it started to go wrong? Why didn't I leave the marriage sooner? Why couldn't he see what was going wrong? Why couldn't he understand my point of view or want to try harder to meet my needs? Why couldn't I stand up to him before?

When I wasn't fixated on my past I was fretting over my future. How could I tell my daughter that Mama and Daddy were no longer living together and that it was my choice? How could I ever learn to depend on a man when I got so used to depending only on myself? How am I going to be able to rebuild my finances? How were we going to be able to co-parent Princess D when we couldn't even get along on one phone call?

Thinking like this was driving me insane. All of the anxiety was destroying me from the inside out. First the facial eczema. Next the excruciating neck pain that landed me back in my chiropractor's office once a week. Then the double ear infection. Finally, my cervical cancer scare.

Then I read the quote above from Buddha. At first I thought "impossible"! How can you not mourn the past? How can you not worry about the future? Isn't focusing only on the present seem irresponsible? Then my therapist explained it to me. Don't pretend your past didn't happen, but don't dwell on it. Dwelling will simply keep you from moving forward. I had made my decision, now was the time to accept it and apply what I learned from my past to my present decisions. I can't predict or control the future, but by being mindful of how things shift and change in the present can help shape my future. More importantly, at the end of every day I can find satisfaction in what I accomplished and look forward to being a little bit wiser the next day.

In no way have I perfected this way of thinking. I still mourn. I still worry. If I didn't I wouldn't be human. But, I sure am happier and healthier now that I am living in the present.

hands at heart