Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Living Joyfully-Living In The Moment

In today's fast paced culture, we often overlook the importance of being grateful for every second. But, in reality, life is a gift, and we are slow to be grateful for what we have been given in every moment.

One of the biggest traps we can get into, that negatively affects our ability to have joy, is to look at our present situation and focus on the challenges. When we have struggles, we often think, "As soon as ________ (insert anything) is over, I'll be happy." Sadly, this attitude takes us to a place of constant discontentment. There will always be challenges, and we will never be happy if we don't learn to be grateful for what we have at that moment.

For example, when my husband and I were engaged (we lived 500 miles apart), I would think every day, "I'll be happy as soon as we're married, and no longer in a long-distance relationship." Time passed (as it always does), and I found myself suddenly full of regret. I should have enjoyed those last months living at home, spending time with my parents, and not always focusing on the next "big thing", that would supposedly take all my troubles away. Same thing after we were married and expecting our first child. "I'll be happy as soon as I can hold my baby", I would think. But, alas, baby came and, while she gave us joy like we'd never experienced, I was left pining for those last days of alone time with my husband. All things pass. Time is fleeting. We often forget this until it's too late.

This is life. There will always be struggles. There will always be problems. There is no magic cure-all for this. What we think will make us happy usually doesn't. It just makes us regret that we didn't enjoy things while we had them.

Today I challenge you to look at every second as a gift, and be grateful for the little blessings you have in every moment. One of my dad's favorite quotes while I was growing up was "This too shall pass." I wish I had taken that to heart earlier, and enjoyed every moment instead of impatiently waiting for it to pass.

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