16 January 2021

No more chasing


I posted in the SCI group the other day that I no longer felt like I was constantly chasing something. I really want to take a few minutes and expand on that more here. 

Up until my late 20's/early 30's I felt like I lived in the moment. I felt like I didn't worry about the future, as evidenced by a number of poor money choices, and that I was present in my life. But some time in my 30's that all changed. I can't pinpoint when or why, but I know it did. I know I fell into a deep, deep depression that lasted a long time. And maybe it was that depression that caused the chasing, I don't know. What I do know is that for a large part of my life I felt like I wasn't living in the moment but chasing some future ideal. Which, by the way, I never managed to get. But I remember always thinking "well, when X, Y, Z happens then things will be great" - that never happened. I also remember experiencing really high, highs. Like being super elated and over the moon about something. But I was always looking to the future. I have to do this, and have to do that. The whole time I did that, I missed what was happening in the present. I can remember sitting at my desk so focused on what would be happening next week that I completely ignored what was going on right now. I knew at the time that was not a good way to live, but I didn't know how to change it. 

I have changed it, but I'm not sure I could tell you how I did it. What I do know is that while I plan for the future and consider things to do in the future, I live very squarely in the now. What have I discovered from this shift in perspective? I like being present in my life. I don't suffer depression now because I'm not constantly waiting for something to happen. No wonder I was depressed because in my view my current situation sucked and the future was going to be awesome. But the future never seemed to get here. That would depress anyone. I thought a lot about dying too. I would think, "well, we are all just going to die anyway so what's the point"  Now I look at life and the living part. I want to get as much living in as possible before I do die. Because we are not guaranteed anything and it could all be over tomorrow. So focusing on living is much better than dying. I do things now not because they are going to achieve some major goal or accomplishment in my life, but because they bring me joy or make my life better. I meditate every morning because it helps keep me focused and present. Learning to meditate and control my thoughts were probably the biggest thing in bringing about this shift in perspective. I always knew that I had control of my thoughts and I've used that in the past to make changes in my life, but meditating has shown me just how much control I have over my thoughts which can literally change everything. 

So I'm not chasing things anymore. I do things to improve my life, but I'm not waiting for my life to get awesome, it already is awesome. I am so lucky and so grateful to have the life I have. It could have turned out far, far different. 

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