Life goes by so fast. The older you get the faster it goes. When you were younger, 'old' people used to attempt to tell you this. But as a youth we are more interested in our future and seldom take the advice of our elders, often to our detriment.
I don't know about you, but for me it is such a challenge to be present. So many things want to rob me of my ability to be in the moment. However, as my life has progressed, I have learned to slow down. One of the things that facilitated this most for me was how fast my daughter grew up.
I have three children - a girl, and two boys. My daughter is my oldest. My grandfather instructed me when she was born, "Pay attention, it goes quick." I believed him, but my youth did not let me fully implement his counsel. At the time, I was trying to figure out my life while attempting to be a parent for the first time.
Self-focus leads to loss
My immaturity distracted me into many self-centered pursuits. Let me be honest - that's just a nice way to say I was very selfish. It wasn't until she began her freshman year at college that I became fully aware of missing out on so much with her.
In addition, I lost numerous friends and family members over that time period. Some died of old age, others tragedy, and more than a few to drug overdoses. For a long time I ran from my grief by numbing the pain in a variety of ways. Eventually, I developed the ability to feel my emotions completely and grieved my losses.
Grief is the key to being more present
What I learned is nothing will help you remain present more than grief. But you really have to feel it to its full extent. Only then will the pain cause you to make the necessary changes to align your life to what truly matters. We need to experience the sting grief provides to let us know how important something or someone was to us. It will then help us to orient to what is most significant.
Don't run from grief. Let it do its job of transforming your life. It will allow you to focus on what possess real value and meaning. Life is made of moments. I chase moments like a surfer chases waves. My mission is to catch as many of them as I can. As I am writing this, I am filled with positive emotions thinking of last evening of my fiance and I watching something that was so inspiring we were both in tears. These times are priceless to me.
The moments that hold the most value are the ones we spend with others. The people in your life are what is most essential. Make the commitment today to prioritize your life to what holds the highest value. If you do, you won't regret it. If you don't, you will. Fact! Don't allow things of lesser priority, or your fears, to rob you any longer. Today, make the most of each moment.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.