Do You Live In the Past, The Future or the Present?Apr 12, 2020
“I’m not sick yet” I said.
I was having a conversation with my husband about this whole coronavirus situation and that’s what I said.
He stopped me. “Can you see what’s going on in your head?” he said.
We’d switched roles.
He was now the Life Coach.
And I realized that almost every day, I woke up, took a breath and said “I’m not sick yet.” Let me spell it out. That means that what I’m actually believing is “I’m going to get sick sooner or later."
I’m firmly planted in the future. Not in the past, not in the present…in the future.
Here’s what firmly planted in the past sounds like: “We’ll go back to normal soon. This is just a blip.”
Future? “Okay, I’m not sick yet. But I just had a sniffle, sneeze, random cough, itchy eyes. OMG!”
Neither of these responses is very helpful. How do I know? Because when I tell myself that I’m not sick yet, I feel relieved for a milli-second and then worried and anxious about my risk today.
When I think “We’ll go back to normal soon. This is just a blip.” (I’ve never thought this by the way, so I’m imagining what this would feel like.) What I imagine that would feel like is resentment. I’d have an expectation that I could soon resume my activities – the gym, school, work or travel plans and each time they were delayed I’d get angry and resentful.
When thinking or believing something feels painful, it means that you are telling yourself a story that isn’t your truth. When you habitually live in the future (where I tend to live) or you habitually live in the past (where I don’t) you often get into a painful emotional spiral – but you can’t recognize it unless you identify the story you’re telling yourself.
I mean I didn’t even notice mine until my husband pointed it out. And even though thinking “I’m not sick yet” gives me momentary relief, it pushes me into big time anxiety about getting sick sooner or later.
I’m sharing all this with you because now, in this period of uncertainty that we are all living in, it’s a great time to observe yourself in real time – without judgement.
Where do you habitually live? In the past? In the future? Or in the present?
So, let’s look at the present. What would I say about my present?
I am well. I’m nesting and feel safe at home with my husband and my adult son. I speak to my 91-year-old mom every day and she is well. I love being able to really see spring emerge. I’m watching the geese as they fight for territory to create their nests in the small creek outside our house.
When I look at the present, all I feel is gratitude. Small moments of laughter. Fun meals. What the impact really is of not using vanilla in a recipe. How amazing it feels to coach someone. How little my work and day has actually changed. How incredibly lucky and grateful I am. How I love to share my thoughts in writing and have a place to share them with you.
When you live in the present you can easily access gratitude...for what IS. And its gratitude that brings out the best in all of us!
What are you grateful for today?
Have a great Easter Sunday.
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