Singing oh Lord, keep me in the moment
Help me live with my eyes wide open
‘Cause I don’t wanna miss what you have for me.
These are lyrics from the latest Jeremy Camp song. They serve as an excellent reminder for me to focus on this moment. I often speak about the importance of living in the present moment. It is the only moment where we have full control of our state of mind and emotions. And remember, it is the quality of that state of mind and emotional level that controls the quality of our lives.
People always ask… is it ok to even think about the past? I would answer yes. It is good to think about the past if we are either re-living a positive memory or even using a negative situation as something to learn from and build upon. However, when we do that, we are doing it in the present moment. It is not good to think about the past if we are longing to go back to “the good old days” instead of living in the now. Or it is not good to dwell on the negatives in the past and feel angry or guilty about them and allowing those thoughts to affect your current emotional state in a bad way.
Is it ok to think about the future? Again, I would answer yes. I believe it is sometimes necessary to think about the future because it is valuable to use as a planning tool and for getting a solid picture and goal in your mind for what you want your life to be like. Once again though, you are actually doing that in the present moment. It is not good to think about the future as a way to escape your negative situations you may have today, or to fill your mind with worrisome thoughts about what bad things can possibly happen. Why would you negatively affect your present moment with thoughts of something that hasn’t even happened yet? I know it’s easier said than done, and I would be rather hypocritical if I didn’t admit that I’ve done it myself. In fact, I’ve been quite good at it for most of my life. However, I’ve learned that most of the situations I worried about never actually occurred, and more importantly that the quality of my thoughts and feelings on the inside now, at this moment, determines the quality of my life on the outside now and in the future.
The great news is that we have full control of our thoughts and feelings. And when we do have that control fully? In the present moment. Think about it. At this very moment, as you are reading this, what negative thing is happening? Ok, I guess I shouldn’t set myself up like that. Perhaps the negative thing is you think this article is horrible. Let’s step back from that and assume you’re enjoying the article. Seriously, unless something life-threatening is coming at you right now, if you focus solely on this moment right now, there is nothing negative about it unless you place your thoughts on it. That is true for any moment. There is nothing negative about the present moment unless you believe there is. Knowing this and the fact that you are the only one who can control what enters your mind and heart, I challenge you to pray this prayer to God. Ask for His help in keeping you in the moment. It is a glorious place to be, mainly because God helps keep your eyes wide open and ensures that you don’t miss the opportunities and blessings He has for you.
Prayer is one way that I anchor myself to the present moment. Simply meditating on the presence of God is an amazing way to feel the peace of the moment. Visualization is another way. I realize that we are often imagining future events when we visualize, but the key is to picture them as they are happening right now. When you remain aware of the present moment upon visualizing, it makes the process extra powerful. There are other ways to remain in the moment too, such as immersing in nature, listening to music, taking a warm bath, dancing, and many others. I would suggest you do what works best for you and adds the most joy to the experience.
As I live more in the present moment, I have a greater longing to remain there. Hanging on to the guilt of the past just isn’t attractive to me anymore. Worrying about the future is not worth it to me. I share this with you in the hope that you will join me in this peaceful, joyous place called the present moment. There is no better place to be. Enjoy the blessings 🙂