Wednesday, July 18, 2012
“The only time you can really be happy, is right now. There is no other moment that exists that is more important than this one. Do not sacrifice this moment in the hopes of a better one. It is easy to remember all these things when they are being said; it is much harder to remember them when you are stuck in traffic or lying in bed worrying about the next day. If you want to move people, simply tell them the truth. Today, it is rarer than it’s ever been.” –I Wrote This For You
It’s easy to get caught up in life-what is happening, what isn’t, what we wish was happening- and forget what we do have. It’s the beauty in the moment, the little things in life that we forget about and look for the greener grass on the other side. The moments of nonstop laughter , the smile on someone else’s face, when someone shows you a kindness you know you’ll never be able to return, or when you help someone out that will never be able to repay you. These are the moments of life-the ones that are happening every day. We spend a lot of time looking forward to the next thing, the next event, or the next step that we forget to live the life we have right now, in this moment. We spend so much time looking forward that we don’t look around us; it all becomes a blur and we never truly live. Life is embracing these moments and truly being present in them for yourself and for those around you.
Alaska has helped remind me of this. It seems to be a slower lifestyle up here; people aren’t so worried with where to be or where to go. You can spend a weekend hiking or camping and there is less pressure on fulfilling all these obligations that you think you have. It seems to embrace the events of life as just that-part of our life. Yes, there are moments of complaint-like the average temperature for the month of July has been 54 degrees (brrr!)-and moments when the grass is a whole lot greener. But this last week has hit me square in the face with saying goodbye and trying to transition back into home life. Some of these people welcomed me into their homes for a day, a night, a weekend, or weeks on end. They showed me their way of life and introduced me into a different way of seeing the world. The clients, the employees of Daybreak, the friends I’ve made, and the people that have invited me to their volleyball games have all reminded me of the importance of just being. I get so caught up in looking ahead or planning the next phase in my life that I forget to let God work through me.
Some people would call it fate, karma, etc. but whatever we label it, it transcends us. There is something greater out there than just this one person or being and we all have our role to play in it. The beauty in that is that our role is determined by the gifts and talents we possess and how we choose to use them. We’re our harshest critics so sometimes we don’t see the gifts we have but if we listen to those around us, we’ll hear about them. I have been reminded that one of the most important steps is being open. If we’re open to the world around us and God working through us we might just find ourselves in a situation that we could have never dreamed of. The capabilities we have are fantastic and all we have to do is be open to those possibilities. Seeing ourselves and the things around us-and I mean really seeing them with all their flaws, beauty, and potential-is living and once we step out of the fog, we can find happiness. Happiness doesn’t come from the best job title or biggest paycheck. Peace of mind doesn’t come from an easy lifestyle. Change doesn’t happen overnight. These all happen when we start to live our lives as we are meant to instead of attempting to force ourselves into the mold the world expects of us.
Living authentically and modeling the behavior and ideas we wish to see in the world is what calls others to do the same. We are able to create change by living it. Bill and Polly and many others I have met over these 8 weeks have reminded me that there is no quick fix. The beauty in living in these moments is celebrating the small accomplishments-watching someone graduate from CRP court, helping a client complete a step on their treatment plan, or observing their ability to grow and change as their work through their treatment plan. These small accomplishments should be celebrated even as you look ahead to that long road in front of you. There will be bumps and set backs on this journey but by enjoying the time you have and the small moments of victory, happiness is realized and change is celebrated.
After a rainy and cold July, I’ve spent this week in sunshine and 70 degree weather. Appreciating the view on one of my runs.