Perks of Being Present

So I had to film myself counseling… which is as terrifying as it sounds. “I wonder what my face looks like.” “That was stupid…why did I say that?” “Oh my gosh, she’s done talking and I have no idea what to say.” All thoughts that ran through my mind while sitting in that counselor chair. Needless to say, it’s easy to get so caught up in your head that you aren’t really listening to someone, which is why our professors drill into our head the importance of living in the moment. But why is that so hard? Maybe it’s because of the countless things we can be doing at any moment thanks to the internet… but I think it runs deeper than that. As humans, we have a hard time living in the present.

If you think about it, a lot of our time is spent somewhere else besides where we are. I may look like I’m driving on the interstate alone in my car, but really I’m entertaining thousands of adoring fans with my new single… which also happens to be Taylor Swift’s new single. Or maybe I’m reminiscing about something. Or maybe I’m thinking about that person I really shouldn’t be thinking about. Really y’all, the possibilities are endless. But as I keep working on my relationship with God, it’s harder to keep convincing myself that these little daydreams are good for me.

Most of the time, when I feel that urge to wander off in my mind, it’s because I can’t handle reality. I’ll start feeling alone or unsure of myself, in other words, some type of discomfort, and there I go, back to that place of comfort where I have control and I feel important… loved. It took me a long time to realize why I did this though! In fact, it wasn’t until I heard Fr. Mike Schmitz (see link below) talk about accepting your reality and inviting God to meet you there that I realized how much I was missing out on every time I took a mini vacation in my head. Daydreaming was my way to escape a reality I didn’t want to face! But guess what? God only exists in the present. So every time I avoid those tough feelings, I’m avoiding Him. I’m avoiding His healing. Because time and time again, whenever I have a big “aha” moment with God, it’s through an area of my life I don’t want to give Him. It’s still a mystery to me, but no matter how many times I try to convince Him to rest in my pretty, presentable parts, He always finds His way back to my wounds.

I want to go back to what Fr. Mike said about accepting your reality. When I hear that, my mind goes to the big picture reality like I mentioned above… you know, those big problems that are never far from my mind like accepting the fact that I have this desire to start a family, but I’m single, or that problem that keeps popping up within my family that I find hard to deal with. Although it’s good to bring those big problems to God, we also miss out on a lot if we just focus on those. When He challenges us to accept reality, it’s more widespread than that. It’s accepting the reality that I have trouble staying awake in my night class, or the reality that after a long day, I don’t feel like cleaning, but have to. Good things too, like being super excited about what I’m eating for lunch that day (because I love food), or finally having a day off with nothing to do but “be.” Those moments are begging to be filled with God’s presence. Those simple, ordinary things are the key to living a Christian life.

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photo courtesy of: BlessedIsShe

Anyone can go through the motions to become Christian and do/say all of the right things, but how many are brave enough to invite God into every aspect of their lives… into the present moment? We want to keep Him contained in the past by fixating on past things we did or push Him to the future by waiting for the next thing, but life happens in the present.

Embrace where you are right now, lean into those movements of your heart, and you’ll find His eyes looking back at you. Those eyes that are filled with adventure and love.

— Sharon

Father Mike Schmitz’s “The Secret: Acceptance”

 

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