This week, I found myself wishing that I could go back in time, to a recent trip to the beautiful Azores, back in June. My boyfriend and I had traveled there for the wedding of two friends and had such a great experience, that we continued to joke about how we wished we could just be BACK THERE already or go on another trip as soon as humanly possible.
And this is normal, right? Many people I know spend much of their time either wishing they could re-live a past experience or typically daydream about the future. And while I think this is all harmless to some degree, I also started to get curious about how often we do this as humans and why.
To me, the fundamental reason why we get stuck in either the past or the future is because we are often too uncomfortable being in the present moment. This is a huge problem that our culture faces as a whole. And we know it’s mostly because of technology and the infinite amount of stimulus and distractions that surround us daily. In today’s modern world, it’s a known fact that many of us can’t even get through a conversation without looking at our phones. And we’d all be lying if we said that we were present for every chat, engagement and commitment we experience, because it would feel impossible for us to actually do that.
But here’s the thing… I’m seeing more and more people in my life who are constantly focusing on the next “best thing,” meaning that they must be missing out on what’s right in front of them— myself included! As I reflected on this, it got me feeling a bit discouraged and made me recognize the importance of each single moment in life, even when we want teleport ourselves elsewhere. Why? Because, I’m thinking that there’s likely a lot we’re missing out on when we are spending much of our time focused on what to do next or what happened in the past.
I think what we struggle with as a society, is the ability to be content with the here and now, especially during the moments that feel less than inspiring or just legitimately uncomfortable. And it’s not even really our fault when you think about it. We are a culture of busy people, always chasing the next shiny object. For example, if you work in a job that you hate, it’s pretty likely that while you’re there, you’re probably scrolling on your phone, planning your weekend plans or envisioning yourself ANYWHERE else. Am I right? If you said yes, then maybe it’s time we really put some thought into this.
So I ask you—why is it so hard to be present in the moments that are uncomfortable or “boring,” or less than perfect? And why is it difficult for us to simply BE, wherever we are?
You see, in life, we don’t get to skip moments. And the interesting part is that the crappy ones actually end up being the ones that are often the most important, simply because, they give us contrast and polarity to then experience all the wonderful moments that we will truly enjoy.
So if you struggle with this as well, my advice to you is this…
1.) Know that every moment is important and has meaning, even the ones that are undesirable.
2.) Understand that trying to constantly control your reality by wanting to skip moments or experiences (that you don’t like) gets exhausting. Instead, practice surrendering to the current moment. Your new mantra is: “I am comfortable in the here and now.”
This is a topic that’s become near and dear to my heart because I am in the thick of it as we speak. I’m realizing how important it is to pay attention to life’s moments, because time is always moving so fast around me. And I want to be able to look back and appreciate more of it… even when I’d rather be on an epic vacation, where the only hard decision I had to make all day was which fresh fruit to buy and snack on.
So while I sit here this week and reminisce about my last travel adventure, I have decided to practice gratitude for it, but not to get stuck in that memory for too long. Because I have an entire world sitting right in front of me, as I type this. And that world deserves my attention just as much as my memories do.
As always, thank you for being here in THIS MOMENT with me. I am grateful for you.