Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.
For as long as I can remember, the fear of the future has been my biggest inhibitor. I am constantly planning, preparing, and worrying about my next step. This habit has been inbred by a mother who plans constantly, a world that glorifies multitasking, and a society that praises being busy. My planner is heavy and my Sunday nights are always spent penciling in appointments, activities, meetings, and other obligations into my schedule.
Planning is something that helps me deal with the madness. It has always been a source of comfort: as organization helps ease the overwhelming feeling of being as busy as I am. This being said, planning is not a bad thing! There is much to be said for being prepared for upcoming events and knowing just what we will need to do tomorrow. However, I truly believe that by living a perfectly planned and busy life all of the time we miss out on one of life’s biggest opportunities…the opportunity to BE HERE NOW.
Henry Thoreau wrote “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” Indeed Thoreau would call me a fool. For I stand on the island of now and my only thoughts are of the islands of the future. WHAT BEAUTY ARE WE MISSING IN THIS MOMENT BY LOOKING TO ANOTHER?
I believe that the more we focus on what is coming next, the more overwhelmed we will become. I believe that the more we try to plan every detail of the upcoming moments of our lives, the more frustrated we will be with the moment we have in our hands now. I believe that the more we look away from the present, the more we will look back in the future. Yes, we can plan and prepare. But perhaps we should designate a time and place to plan and prepare and then come back to the now. I am sometimes overtaken by all the things I cannot do. But nothing makes me feel as whole and as wonderfully capable as staying in the now. Focusing on the things that I can do now. Focusing on the blessings I can experience and appreciate in this moment. So plan and prepare to the best of your ability. And then breathe. Knowing you have prepared the best you can and can now come back to the now. To enjoy THIS MOMENT.
May we give ourselves break after break after break. May we be gentle and forgiving when we forget. May we always bring ourselves back to this.
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