Are you so focused on the “next stage” of your life that you are forgetting to LIVE in today? Thoughts such as, “if I can just get through graduation,” “once I finish this project,” or “when this health issue is resolved,” shouldn’t be the excuse not to focus on this moment.
Denial can be a natural response to difficult circumstances. We want some confidence that things will get better and easier, and it’s less painful to dream about those future days than focus on the misery we’re in today.
What we are going through should not be overlooked, since it can be the catalyst to becoming stronger, smarter, more experienced or more grateful.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. Romans 5:3
What are some ways to make the most of your “now,” while working toward your “new”?
- Acknowledge the difficulty: It’s ok to admit that you are stressed, but embrace the struggle rather than deny it, and look for the positive points. Who have you met that you otherwise would not have? What strengths within yourself have come out that you weren’t aware of?
- Create celebration points: Designate some small landmarks or goals and celebrate when you reach them. It could be as simple as getting a latte when you have gotten your next chapter written, or have a movie night with your family or friends when the current class or round of treatment is completed.
- Engage: Look for opportunities to engage with others going through the same difficulty. Find a study or support group, or invite others in your class to go to lunch once a week to share war stories and encourage each other.
- Reach out to others: Turn the focus outside your own struggle. Volunteer an hour or two. Go visit in a nursing home. Doing something for others can help us better appreciate our own situation.
- Be intentional about today: Look for special moments or beauty around you. Notice the sunrise. Be attentive to your spouse or child. Seek things to be grateful for right where you are today.
How can you focus on being the best you can be now, on your way to that next phase? What step will you take to “bloom” right now, right where you are?