It’s a common theme that the road to chronic happiness begins and ends in the now.
It’s a very short road.
Now is now.
It’s really all there is.
The rest we just imagine.
Everyone says, “I wish I could just live in the now and not worry so much about the past that was and the future that’s still to be”, pesky Dickesonian Christmas ghosts aside.
But we don’t…for the most part, we don’t.
It’s just too difficult.
None of us can control the now; we just have to accept it.
Oh sure, we can throw ourselves on the ground and bang our arms and legs and spew expletives to ourselves, but that never works…trust me.
The past and the future, however, exist only as figments dwelling in our minds—they probably rent and don’t even own—and that we can control…or at least control how we perceive them.
There's a comfort in that, albeit a negative one, so we linger in those nasty, messy apartments, way too often, mucking about in resentment and fear, and fail to hear the music of now.
It’s a problem.
Having said that, however…mostly because it’s a Monday and I have to say something—at least that’s what I tell myself—I’m not that sure, anymore, that’s entirely the case.
I think we do live in the now, much more than we give ourselves credit for. It’s just not all that we expect of the now.
And it’s that word right there that causes so much of the problem…EXPECT.
We expect now to be a certain way…and we all know that’s rarely the case.
And when the now is not what we expect, we get thrown for a loop and immediately, to quote Scotty Fitz…“We beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
I guess because, again, there’s some kind of comfort in the past…the comfort of already knowing the outcome.
Not a very optimistic view if you ask me, yet one that’s more than a little familiar.
But the same past with which we find such solace in, this now, was once that now…the same one that we probably weren’t all that pleased with, back then, either.
Yet in this now it seems preferable…to what, or why, I’m not sure.
Back then we were living in the now, surviving, living, breathing…tirelessly paddling our oars, up stream, an inch at a time, in search of the perfect gift of…now…just like we are today.
But we fail to realize that the real gift, imperfect as it may appear, is in the journey itself.
Not a new thought, but one that bears repeating.
And maybe the key is this…there is no rule that says the journey needs to be hard, or harder than it should be. We don’t have to beat against the current, getting nowhere fast.
We actually can control the now, turn the boat around, put the oars away, and follow the stream easily towards our destination…the one we never expected.
The water runs in one direction and no one has figured out a way to change that.
Don’t like the now?
Just wait…it changes with every breath.
Expect nothing…experience everything...every bend, every dip, every rise.
Now…that’s not so hard.
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