If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
I have heard the first and second part of this quote, but sadly I have never heard the last part.
For far too many years I’ve lived in either the past or the future. Recently I’ve learned to live in the present. I have never felt peace like I do now.
I’m participating in a meditation study. I’m excited to see how this will change my life.
The last time I had an appointment with my therapist, I told her “I can handle the anxiety, it’s the depression that kills me. I cannot imagine being 50, 60, 70 and still living with this” I'm paraphrasing here.
Although thoughts still swirl around a million miles a minute, they are no longer negative (well most of the time). But when depression hits. It’s a ton of bricks hitting me in the chest after I have just climbed out of the valley. I look back one last time hoping to celebrate, when I realize there are bigger valleys on the horizon. I am too fatigued to even cry. I feel nothing.
After a while I remove the bricks that half cover me like a blanket protecting me from the elements. It takes some time. I begin to feel like myself again and go on to tackle the next valley, looking forward to summit the next mountain.
At our first mediation session we each shared our reasons for being there. My heart sank as I listened to everyone. Especially a few (older) women. I saw that I will never escape this. I saw too, there are ways I can mitigate the pain, rewire my brain to not always be in a state of fight or flight, and bring my body back into balance. mnd xo
The path to happiness and well-being never ends. Just when we think we've arrived, a new challenge presents itself and we begin again. This book was written to help dissolve the illusion that we can better ourselves to the point where emotional pain is a thing of the past. A more fruitful path is to cultivate uncommon kindness - kindness toward ourselves - as long as we live and breathe. In the words of meditation teacher Pema Chodron: "... we can still be crazy after all these years. We can still be angry after all these years. We can still be timid or jealous or full of feelings of unworthiness. The point is ... not to try to throw ourselves away and become something better. It's about befriending who we are already."
It could make all the difference in your life.
The mindful path to self - compassion pg. 243-244
Today: Like most, I'm trying to figure things out. Sometimes that's day by day, moment by moment, and even breath by breath.