Are you holding onto the past and refusing to move forward? Holding onto unworthy stuff, to children who have grown, loved ones who have gone to be with their maker, possessions you once owned, or status you once held? It can be hard to let go of people, possessions, or status and move on. Which parent, especially a mother, doesn’t hold on to their children even when it is clear they should be out in the world making their own mistakes and learning from them? Though my children are all grown and independent, I still think and worry about them. Are they safe? Are they happy? Are they making the rights choices in life?
It’s hard to stand by and watch while a loved one makes choices that will cause them pain. You may want to leap in and fix things but experience and wisdom make you realise people learn important lessons by making their own mistakes. I have learnt to turn to prayer for those I love as they make their own decisions and choices. I have also learnt to let go of things I am not in control of and live my life in the moment and to the fullest
Most of us tend to live our lives in denial about things in the past and things to come. We refuse to accept the death of a loved one, loss of a job, the tender we thought would make us instant millionaires, the election we fought so hard for, or the house we once called home. We also focus so much on the future that we even forget a reality no one escapes – death. We talk and behave like we shall be here forever. We even refuse to write our Wills, arguing we are not dying! And while we may not die today, we shall, without a doubt, die at some point in the future.
I wrote my first Will as a young college graduate in my first job, bequeathing all I had to my mother, and I can tell you it wasn’t much – a few clothes, some hundreds of shillings in my account and a small insurance policy. Things have changed – I have a husband and three children and a few earthly possessions. My Will has continued to evolve from the days I agonized who would take care of my children if I died before they were adults, to the present when God has blessed me to see them grow into responsible adults. Why then, would I not live in the moment?
I get encouragement to live my life passionately from the bible and several bedside books I read often. One of my favourite: One Month to Live: Thirty Days to a No-Regrets Life by husband and wife team of Kerry and Chris Shook is a life changer and I would recommend it to you. I had the privilege to hear Chris preach in a church in Chicago a few years ago after which I bought his book, which poses a simple question: If you had only one month to live, what would you change? If you want new urgency, fresh purpose, and a sharper focus for your life, then this book is for you. It will challenge you to live the life you were made for and leave an eternal legacy. The book wakes you up to the need to live passionately, love completely, learn humbly and when the time comes for you to leave this world, leave boldly.
This book makes you understand why you need to live in the moment; let go off any baggage you carry, and enjoy life more by allowing love to permeate everything you do and evil to have no room. The more time you spend in the present without agonising about your past mistakes, missed opportunities or loses, or even trying to compose a perfect future for yourself when you have no way of knowing what tomorrow brings, the happier and fulfilled you will become.
To live in the moment means waking up each morning determined to walk through the day without any baggage, whether emotional, physical or mental. This means finding a way of letting go of any unnecessary load you carry. Here are a few things you can do to help you let go:
Believe now is enough. Tomorrow may not look the same as today, no matter how much you try to control it. A relationship might end. You may lose your job. Someone you love might die. Purpose to deal with those moments when they come but for now all you need is to appreciate and enjoy what you have.
Know you can’t change the past. Even if you think about it over and over again, the past is past. Even if you punish yourself, you can’t change it. Even if you refuse to accept, it’s done. The only way to relieve your pain about what happened is to give yourself relief by accepting the past, being at peace and moving on.
Define yourself in simplistic terms. We are constantly evolving and growing. Define yourself in terms that can withstand change. Defining yourself by possessions, roles, or relationships breeds attachments that can lead to loss when those attachment are broken. You will lose out not just on what you have, but also who you are.
Published on March 2014