It was not that long ago that I had trouble finding joy in the present. Maybe a better way of saying it was that I was too occupied to notice. With all the “stuff” going on, it was hard to see a reason for being positive … and that was pre-pandemic, racial unrest, etc. etc.
Then I read a mantra from Gabrielle Burnstein which says “I forgive my past, release my future and honour my present”. The foundation of this statement is the belief that the very special gift God has given each of us is the present. It is actually the only thing we have. I asked myself “How do I truly honour the present?”
As I began to reflect deeper, I realized that the lack of forgiveness in my life and the worry about the future, were totally robbing me of any potential joy in the present. Without much joy, there is not much peace and love either.
Forgiveness of my past and forgiveness of others is about letting go so that my heart could heal. Forgiveness breaks the control that my ego had over my life and mind. Forgiveness does not say it was ok or does not matter, it is simply an act of letting go and moving on. By rehashing old mistakes and old hurts, I was preventing my mind from focussing on more important things … the present.
Similarly, as I let worry and fear of the future become a focus, I was unable to honour the present. This is not to suggest that that it is a waste of brain space to learn from the past for a better future. There is a line that separates worry from trust.
A statement which I have made many times is “I can’t make an informed decision without proper information”. The way that I was using that information showed that I was determined to manipulate the future rather then go where I was being lead. I was missing out on the messages which I was to busy to hear.
The irony of this did not escape me as I lay in the hospital after my heart attack. There had been so many warning signs, but I was too busy too notice, too busy to listen. I was too concerned with my “baggage” This would be considered a strange time to feel “the joy of now” but I was extremely grateful that I still had “now” since it could have been the other way too.
I started to realize that by forgiving my past and releasing my future, I was honouring my present. Forgiving and releasing leads to a mind that is open to the joys of now. I was now able to see and appreciate the beauty in nature around me, I was able to see and appreciate the acts of kindness in those around me. My accomplishments were now filled with gratitude for I had been guided. In short, my life was filled with gratitude …. and the joy in now.
Now I can begin each day with the following prayer, “Holy Spirit, help me to learn the lessons and see joy in each person I meet and in each obstacle that I face” As Dr. Wayne Dyer put it so well “When I change how I look at things, the things I look at change”