There’s a little exercise I love to do, especially when I’m frustrated and wondering what the heck life is all about….
I close my eyes and imagine that I’m 95 years old now. I really feeeel it. My life has gone by and it’s almost over; a photo album, some stories, memories, accomplishments, loved ones. I’ve gotten used to feeling achy and tired. I spend much of my day just getting up and around. My kids are all grown and aged themselves. Most of my lifetime friends are gone. My parents are dead.
And here I am, looking back, thinking how wonderful it would be if I could go back in time and taste some of it again; maybe do things differently. To be young again, to be healthy and strong again, to have a lifetime of opportunity before me again, to play with my kids or grandkids again while they were still children. To hug my parents and friends again. To say thank you again. To help. To appreciate. To love. What a gift it would be to relive part of my past. I really feel what it’s like to be 95 years old now.
And then I say, “Please, God, let me go back in time. Let me be young again and appreciate all I had. Please.” And then, when I’m really longing for it and feeling like that life is a dream that will never really come true, and my life is really almost over… I open my eyes.
Try it some time. If you’re like me, you’ll experience the total blessing of being here, right now.
Ever notice that the good ol’ days of our lives are somehow always in the past? I try to remember, despite whatever challenges are facing me, whatever better future is eluding me, that these are probably the times I’ll look back on – even if they’re hard times – and say, “Wow, what an amazing time that was.”
I’ve also come to believe that the worst and hardest times are often the times of greatest transformation and learning. And when plans don’t unfold the way we imagined, when things go terribly wrong, the universe is simply realigning our course. I try to practice acceptance and have faith that it will all turn out somehow.
And when I look back on the worst times and tragedies of my life, I can’t help but notice all the blessings that logically resulted, and that things never turn out nearly as badly as I had feared.
So I remind myself never to worry about things I can’t control. To worry is to suffer by living in the future. And the future is unpredictable.
Are you hurt now? Have you lost your life savings now? Are you alone now? Or are you perfectly safe, warm, and healthy, imagining a bad thing that might happen tomorrow?
If the bad thing doesn’t happen, you will have tormented yourself in vain. And if it does, worrying could not have prevented it anyway. And right now, whatever may be going on, it’s all happening in the good ol’ days.