I began my 2017 summer with a single thought: live in the now. I heard someone respond to that with, “No one can always live in the now.” That person was correct, and so very wrong. Over the last few months I have learned a few things about living in the now:

  1. Facing my past brings healing
  2. Facing my past brings growth
  3. Living in the now brings adventure
  4. Living n the now brings hope
  5. Living in the now brings peace

Emily Dickinson is one of the greatest writers of all time. I’ve read scores of her work. Including the poem below…

Forever — is composed of Nows
by Emily Dickinson

Forever — is composed of Nows —
‘Tis not a different time —
Except for Infiniteness —
And Latitude of Home —

From this — experienced Here —
Remove the Dates — to These —
Let Months dissolve in further Months —
And Years — exhale in Years —

Without Debate — or Pause —
Or Celebrated Days —
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Domini’s —

I know we are never ever promised tomorrow. I know we can’t guarantee what will happen and why they happen or where they happen. The future is essentially a mystic thing. It doesn’t exist.

As for the past? Well, let me tell you that the past is one tricky mother trucker. The past exists. Boy does it exist. In your dreams. In your waking moments. In the car that passes, in the shops you frequent, in the sayings you here from others. The past is everywhere. Whether you’re looking or not.

That is where living in the now becomes so important.

You see, you have the option of letting your past haunt you or teach you to grow. For a long time I let my past haunt me. I allowed the darkest moments of my past to define me. And in essence, it turned me into a victim. Or at least provided a victim mentality.

One day I said, “No more.” I vowed to pull myself out of the hole of my past. And as I did I started to feel better. See better. Love better. Think better. Talk better. Do better. I began to live in the now. I began to understand that the past is the past. I could either feel sorry for myself or learn from it. I began to understand that I had to stop saying one day because it may never happen. I began to understand to realize that my forever would come from all of my nows.

The nows of loving who I love.

The nows of dancing (secretly) when I can.

The nows of appreciating God’s beauty.

The nows of singing off-key but loving it because the music speaks to me.

The nows of holding a little’s hand and realizing I am a role model.

The nows of always asking why.

The nows of treasuring the smallest to the biggest accomplishments.

The nows of loving myself for who I am even when I know there is still growth left.

The nows of grasping that this life, this second, minute, hour, this moment will define who I am in my forever so living it with love, kindness, patience, forgiviness, mercy and understanding of self and others is the only way to live.

I’m not saying my past means nothing. It has helped define me into the woman I am today. There is no reluctance when I say that. It has. Had it not been for my past I would not be here today. At that same time, I realized that I waste so much energy living in either past or future. As the last few months have shown, living in the now, the place that holds me forever, has given me the freedom of happiness despite the cruelties of the world. Despite the cruelties of my past. Despite the cruelties of the future.

As I continue to live in the now, bask in the beauty of today, keep my eyes above it is then that I find my forever. xoxo