Wednesday, October 16, 2013

On Being Present and Forgiving

Imagine if you could schedule all stressful events ahead of time. Just think about it. You could mark time on your calendar for later in the week or even in several weeks. You would then have the chance to handle bad news or stressful situations with time to prepare. Nothing would ever catch you off guard and you could delay the worst of scenarios. Or in the words of Scarlett O'Hara: "I can't think about that right now. If I do, I'll go crazy. I'll think about that tomorrow."

I know, I know. Only in some fantasy world. 

There is no good time for bad news. And it seems like there has been a lot of it in my life recently. Big, scary stuff that will change many things for a long time to come. Not to be cryptic, I just don't have the right words (or enough information) to truly understand and express what's happening.

As it would go, this is all taking place during my 21 Days of Happy quest. Some type of cruel joke or perhaps a hidden life lesson? Ever the optimist, I'm going to take it as a life lesson.

The lesson is this and it's really quite simple:

1) Stay present. Enjoy the moment. If that means deleting your Facebook/Candy Crush/Pinterest app because you are spending too much time on it, then do it. It means being in this moment, whatever that moment may be. Actually interacting (and listening more than talking) to people instead of trying to multitask by checking e-mails or responding to texts. Stop worrying about what's coming next and just focus on what's going on in front of you at this very moment.

2) Forgiveness. At any given second, we are all going through life with some sort of baggage or dark cloud over us. People are going to say and do some really shitty stuff to you without them knowing what you've got going on. In all honesty, part of me wants to scream at them and say "Shut the #($*%! up and act like a *$&@#(! decent human being! I'm going through some &$*@!# right now and I don't have time to deal with your #*$&@!" Whew.  But then I take a breath and a step back. And forgive. Because who the heck knows what they are carrying around. I was just the unfortunate bystander who got the brunt of their hurt and misguided anger. (And let's say-just hypothetically of course- that you did respond the way I really wanted to, then forgive yourself too. You are human and you are hurting.)

The 21 days "officially" ends on Monday. I know I'm not going to wake up Monday with some big "aha!" moment and uncover the secret to a life full of happiness. But, as my mom would say, "Lord willing" if I do wake up Monday morning, I will try to stay ever present and constantly forgive, regardless what unscheduled bad news comes by way.