I think I live in a state that is always ahead of myself. It is like I am constantly stretching out, reaching with all my might towards the next thing, but never able to fully embrace what I have in the present. I hear it all the time, “live in the now”, “enjoy the journey”, “don’t get ahead of yourself”. Yet, time and time again I find myself ahead of myself.
I find myself ahead of myself. We all have a perceived “self”, what we see ourselves as. The self I see is always in the future, never content with where I am at, and always looking to see where I want to be. But it kinda stinks. And it causes some stinky messes in my life. Like, not getting things done that need to be done NOW, because I am too busy making plans for THEN. Always thinking that if I can just get here or there, that I will be content. But every time I get there I am not content. I find myself again looking for the next thing.
This is not the first struggle I have had with this “getting ahead of myself”. It is something I recognize and struggle with time and time again. Something that God and me are working on!!! But just in case you struggle with this too, I wanted to share a few things that are helping me to refocus in the present.
1. A daily “reset” statement. Really it can be anything. For me it usually looks something like this, “God has given you this day, don’t rush through it, don’t hurry through it, enjoy every minute of it” And of course the verse to go along, Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
2. Making a list of what I want to get done TODAY, and doing my best to check those things off. This helps keep my mind focused from getting sidetracked on daydreaming of the future. And this list has to include spending time with my husband and kids, that doesn’t include checking my blackberry and Facebook.
3. A thankful journal. Listing 5 things EVERY day that I am thankful for that day.
4. Stopping, sitting, and breathing. Focusing on the present, feeling my breath and my body exactly where it is at. Noticing things in the environment around me. This helps keep me from getting “lost” inside my head, and refocus me when thoughts are drifting.
5. Realizing I have a choice in what I think about, for the most part. I can choose where I focus my thoughts, and depending on the choice I make, the emotions often follow.
6. Realizing that it is not all about me me me me me me me. Oftentimes, just doing something for someone else every day can help me refocus in the present. When I am constantly looking to become who “I” want to be, it is easy to forget about those around me. Do something for someone other than “me”, every day. For a change, put someone else “ahead of myself”!!!!
Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Isaiah 41:10 "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."