Living in the Present to Find Peace

Found a little quote that spoke to me today…

If you are depressed, you are living in the past.

If you are anxious, you are living in the future.

If you are at peace, you are living in the present.

– Lao Tsu

This was meaningful because I totally understood the first sentence, I was there, I lived it, and I’m done with it. And then today I realized that I related more to the second sentence. Moving beyond a depression of living in the past seems to lead to the anxious feeling of the future. And I’ve been feeling that in spades.

Now that I’ve come to terms with the past, what does the future hold? I thought I had it all figured out, I had a plan, a path that led to continued happiness and that crumbled. Okay, so over time I got over that, now what? Things I counted on to be there are no longer, so what’s next? I had a plan and my very organized, very focused brain hasn’t caught up to the fact that it needs to recalculate, and there are too many equations. What is the best path? And how do I navigate it? Thus the overwhelming sense of anxiousness in what the future holds.

Finding yourself is a complicated and evolving process. The last 10 years has told me how complicated it can be but embracing the fact that it is evolving is a newer revelation.

What’s the difference? Complicated is knowing that old habits, feelings, emotions, frustrations, celebrations can resurface… good, bad and the ugly. Evolving is embracing that it is not easy and that it never really ends. Sometimes the complications are necessary in order to continue to evolve and heal. And sometimes new wounds surface that need to be understood. every revelation is part of the evolution.

So, how do we get to the peace of living in the present? I think it is somewhere in the evolution of self, of understanding that where you were yesterday is not where you are today and what tomorrow holds can not be controlled. You can only control what is in front of you. Making the best of what is in front of you, with a positive attitude and a gracious approach to gratitude in life will provide a positive influence on what the universe has in store for tomorrow.  That is living in the present.

I’m going to try to live up to my own words, to live in the present. Because being at peace feels like it would be a great place to be. Where are you at on this spectrum? What can you do to make a shift to live in the present?

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