What seems like a very long time ago, and it has been over 20 years, I spent much of my time either dwelling on circumstances that had already passed or thinking of scenarios that might happen in the future. I would replay events and conversations that had happened, over and over in my head, or my imagination would create potential actions and words of conversations that I could have in my future. I was stuck in a cycle that kept me from actually living in the moments I was experiencing.
It took many years of God working through friends and books, through Bible studies and songs, and even some therapy, to get me to a place where I began to be intentional about living in the present moment. I consciously fought to shut out the what-ifs or might-have-beens, and instead, to focus on what was the reality before me. Breath prayers, talking with God throughout each moment of my day, and purposeful mindfulness pushed me forward.
These last couple of years, I find I am keenly aware of the present, and rarely do I find myself mulling over past moments or being concerned about the future. This place of groundedness and peace has not come easy, and the events of reality in our world at large, and sometimes in my small little corner of it, still tempt me at times to want to escape from the present moment. I confess I sometimes do escape by getting lost in a story on one streaming service or another.
Nature is one constant that can always bring me back to the present moment, whether it’s watching birds eat at the feeder out my back window in the winter or noticing all the beautiful flowers on my walk around our neighborhood in summer or seeing the squirrels playing all through the trees behind our house all year long. I can depend on creation to bring me back to my center because it always directs my focus to the Creator of all, who is I AM , the ultimate source of all that is the present.