I’ve found in myself recently a hesitation to fully reside in the present moment. When I do take the leap I’m filled with relaxation and calm. I know that it’s where I want to be, but I have a habitual hesitation when I try to enter it. I feel a sort of fear when I fully enter the present moment. It’s the fear that if I don’t keep paying attention to things that could go wrong, then something will sneak up on me. Something that I could have prevented.
It’s boloney. Life is so unpredictable that trying to be prepared all the time for what lies ahead is unrealistic. My best bet is just to let life take me where it wants to, and respond to situations as each situation comes up. Knowing this, I’ve decided that I simply have to take a leap of faith into the present moment.
The fear that I have of putting all my attention into what’s directly in front of me is moot. It’s based off a false belief so the best thing I can do is simply ignore it. Fear is like a notification on your phone. It’s a popup saying, “Hey, this might be dangerous.” If you know logically that the thing you’re going to do isn’t actually dangerous then you can just ignore the popup as it blinks in the background. As long as you know that fear can be wrong then it’s not so scary. It can be more easily ignored.
I’m learning that I have to trust life. It’s similar to the Christian idea that everything is part of God’s plan. Just… if you don’t believe in a higher power like myself, it becomes a little harder to trust life as you know it may not always have the best intentions. The only other option though is to constantly keep your guard up against life, which can be exhausting and often times overkill.
The flow of your life through the universe is like floating in a canoe on a river. No matter what, the river’s going to keep carrying you forward. Often in life we will choose to either fight the river or give up completely to the river.
When you fight the river by paddling upstream it may work for a bit, but eventually you will tire out and then keep heading where you were eventually going to go.
If you give up and don’t steer your canoe you’re leaving your path up to circumstance. You may get smashed into logs, or you may happen upon hidden treasure. The thing is, you’re just as likely to find hidden treasure when you’re steering the canoe, but you can also now avoid smashing into the logs.
I believe the best thing you can do is enjoy riding the river, and adjust your course when you need to. Sometimes you may see a fork in the river and see rapids on one side, so obviously it’d be best to steer yourself towards the other route.
Sometimes there will be rapids ahead and there will be no other route but directly through the rapids. That’s ok as well. You just have to be careful and do your best to navigate the rapids.
There’s no point in panicking every time you come across a bend due to the fear that there may be rapids behind it. If there’s gonna be rapids, there’s gonna be rapids, whether you panicked about them beforehand or if you let yourself enjoy the beautiful scenery that lies before the bend. Why not then just enjoy the scenery and know you’ll do what you have to do if you ever come across rapids?
Yay for allegories!
Basically I’m figuring out that I just have to trust fall into the river of life, as it’s going to take me along for the ride whether I want to or not. Keeping my guard up to avoid “rapids” all the time is a waste of my time and energy when I could be enjoying all the pleasantries and beauties that life has to offer.
As well as trusting life, I’m learning that I have to trust my own skills and capabilities as well. When I’m keeping my guard up I’m trying to give myself a leg up when the rapids hit. I’m constantly listening for the rapids so I can better prepare myself for when they come.
I already have my helmet and life preserver on though. I’ve already taken the major steps needed to ensure my safety. All that’s left is just to navigate the rapids, and I’ve already navigated plenty before and made it out fine, so why fret so much about potential oncoming rapids.
I can bring so much more ease into my life and remove so much worry if I just trust myself and know I’ll be able to make it through the hard times as they come. Looking ahead isn’t accomplishing anything but causing me strife, so I might as well trust myself and stop my second guessing altogether.
To learn more about how to practice residing in the present moment you can check out my guide to meditation here, or you can check out my post on bringing more mindfulness into your day to day life here.
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