Mindfulness is the concept of purposely choosing to be present in the moment. To live your life for the now. Not allowing your past to dictate your present emotions. Not being so caught up in the future that it robs you from the experience of the now. On the surface this seems to be a very normal idea. But, I for one have struggled with allowing myself to live in the joy of the moment, and my journey towards mindfulness hasn’t been easy.
I have been the type of person to fall into full trust and openness with people fairly quickly. When I find that connection with others, I celebrate it and in that celebration put on them a lot of the traits that I myself would give them. This can be problematic for me, (and frankly for them) when I expect a level of care, loyalty and understanding that isn’t necessarily who they are or what they see with me. This can lead to disappointments, hurt feelings, arguments and a loss of friendship. It can cause me to live a more closed life, and not want to share with others. While I have improved, I still struggle with this concept, and learning to accept people for who they are and what they are able to give.
For me, learning how to live a mindful life directly relates to this. To learn how not to let the past experiences shape my future ones. Now don’t’ get my wrong… I feel that we should learn from our past, but not at the expense of it robbing from what could be. In my own growth the concept of expecting the best intentions from those I care about has been an important one. Even in areas that I am hurt or sad, I have learned to reflect on the intent of the person. Was it a misunderstanding? Were they upset about something that I need to listen to? I know they care about me and they would never purposely hurt me. For me, the skill of focusing on the intention of the person, has been a huge help In my personal growth of not allowing the past actions to dictate my reactions.
So, how does this add to my state of mindfulness?
For one, It has allowed me to have honest and heartfelt conversations. It has not only given me the ability to share my feelings and be open with people, but it has allowed me to settle my internal feelings enough to listen to their words. It has given me the moments of peace in the knowledge that these people in my life love me and that I can trust in those feelings. It has allowed me to move past my own baggage and recognize triggers that prevent me from having the now that I want.
Our past can wire us and our reactions of the moment. It is when we start purposely focusing on our reactions, our feelings and our thoughts that we can start to rewire our brains. We owe it to ourselves to do this. We owe it to ourselves to find happiness and strive for nothing less. We are amazing and beautiful creatures who deserve peace and presences in our daily life. It’s not always easy, and it does require honest reflection. Sometimes looking into that mirror can bring up moments and memories that we want to forget. But, in the end, when we do this, when we decide that our life, our happiness and our peace is stronger than any past action…that is when we truly start that path towards living and embracing the now.
…and you are worth it.