It seems crazy to say, but I’ve been resisting my life for over a year now. My mind keeps taking me to a future that isn’t here yet. It takes me to a future that only exists as a figment of my imagination. My life may never look like this. In fact, I challenge you right now to think about the different ways you’ve envisioned the future. Has it ever turned out the way you thought it would? Good or bad? For me, the answer is an emphatic ‘No. Never.’ I’ve made lots of mental movies of what comes next and I’ve cast myself as misunderstood artistic genius, as a tragic Russian heroine and at one time as Prime Minister of Canada not to mention Scottish barmaid in the Hebrides. Life never plays out as the great ‘I’ expects. My clever brain doesn’t know a thing about what comes next. In this department, my brain is an idiot. And so is yours most likely.
Shouldn’t I raise a glass and toast this information? My almighty, all-powerful brain can gather as many facts and past history stories as it likes, but it will never get this one right. It doesn’t know what comes next. The amazing gift in this not knowing is that anything is possible. Anything and everything is on the table, but rather than this making me happy, it tends to make me feel rather ill.
As I sit here, knowing I will never know, my brain freaks. It needs to know, it wants to know and it is convinced it probably knows. Why else does it spend so much time playing out conversations I’ll have in five hours. You do it too I’m betting. You know the drill. I’m imagining someone’s reaction to something I haven’t said in a situation I’ve never been in, but might be so I’m thinking about it now. My thinking brain is offended that I would suggest that it hasn’t a real clue about the future, while I can’t believe I listened to it so often. It’s only making wild predictions about my life.
Where does that leave me? Angry with my all-powerful mind. But poor thinking brain! What is it supposed to do? I spend so much time wishing I were somewhere else doing something else; the grass is greener next year sort of thing. What an incredible waste of time. I am where I am. Today, this minute, this second, this moment when there is the sound of coffee being made in the kitchen, my dog is snoring on the couch, the grey light of morning is illuminating my living room and my knees feel cold. Suddenly I remember this story from a retreat I was on recently:
The bad news is you’re falling and you don’t have a parachute. The good news is-There’s no ground.
So, shut up brain! You need to share leadership of this life with my heart and my body. Right now, I’m listening to my heart and the way it beats in my chest. I’m feeling this moment in time. I’m not going forward or backward chasing you and your stories.
I know, but don’t always remember, that life isn’t about liking or not liking what’s here. It’s about actually being present for my life as it is. After all, anything else is a fantasy. In the bitter and the sweet, this life is rich.
My mantra these days?
In the here and the now, I am present. In this moment, I am home.