As I sit here I am squished between a toddler and a hesitant dachshund. It makes me realize how important it is to appreciate the moments we have in life and not look towards the next best thing. Often we get caught in the if only, next time and the I will do this when moments in life. We don’t realize that in order to live our best life, we need to do it right now. We cannot wait for the next chapter to turn, because each page of a book makes it worth reading. We need to harness the hear and now…..not the I can’t wait until when.
The above has been me for the last thirty-seven years of my existence. I am always looking towards tomorrow and never do I appreciate today. I look towards the future and neglect the hear and now. I always live my life in a forward motion, but don’t appreciate things until they are over. I recently celebrated my thirty seventh revolution around the sun. A good friend asked me what I wanted in this next year and what I hoped for. I thought what do I want?! I have no idea! What should I want? What should I plan for? What should I want to want? Do you see the commonality in those sentences? The word is “should.” My whole life has evolved around that very word…how should I look, what should I wear, how should I act, what should I say..etc..etc.etc. You get the point. It might appear that the last thirty seven years have been a farce, because in reality I have been doing everything the world said I “should” do.
What if we took out the “shoulds.” This last year has by far been the hardest, most challenging and earth shattering year of my life. I had to take out the future and only live in the here and now. My world came crashing down and I couldn’t live in the when, but only the minute, the hour or the day( if was feeling really good). My most cherished sister friend told me one day, what if you take out the “shoulds.” What if you live each day in the present and only do things that bring you joy. What if you took a pause from the “have to” and only do what sparks love in your heart. I was perplexed and aghast.
So what if we raised our children this way? What if we told them that we don’t always have to do what the world says we “should” do. What if we taught them to appreciate the here and now. What if we taught them to do the things that spark joy in their hearts. What if we taught them to think with their hearts more often then their heads. Would the world fall apart? What would happen? Would society end as we know it? I don’t think so. I am a firm believer that we all have joy in our hearts. That we all have an inherit passion to love, help, and show grace. It just gets lost in the “shoulds.” Because when you “should” do it, is so much different then when you want to do it.
How do you teach little ones? How do you pass this wisdom down to their little hearts? You already are. They are watching you under the microscope of life, but unfortunately we are so busy with the “shoulds” that they can only see us using a telescope because we are so far away from the present.
This is my challenge to you. Take the “shoulds” out for one day. Just one. And see how your life changes. How does your heart feel? Mother Theresea once said, “if you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” My theory is this: if you love your family by taking out the “shoulds” you will find the passion that lies within each one of them, the innate love that exists within and the joy that is bursting at the seems to get out. I challenge you to PAUSE….look down and see all that God has created. Stop living for future and appreciate today. PAUSE…REFLECT…..AND BREATHE.
I would love to know if you decide to take this challenge on and how it changed you? Let go…Carpe Diem!