The Big Picture -VS- Pieces of the Puzzle
I have found the one thing that I believe is the key to lasting peace and happiness: Living in the puzzle pieces of my life. You see, for a long time I would constantly think (live) in the past or in the “Big Picture” of my future. The result of that method often left me depressed about what I was missing or anxious about what could be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in planning for the future and creating it through intention, thankfulness, and action, but that dwelling on the future “maybes and could bes” is where I had to learn a hard lesson by drawing a line in my own life. I realized I had been even thinking back to past situations and actually trying to solve the issues or reenact the event in my mind…that’s insanity! The thing is…I’m not the only one who does or did this. It’s an epidemic of insanity!
Truthfully, the only time we really need to even peek at the “Big Picture” is while planning or seeking primary life direction; such as, a career, life purpose, long-term goals, or when others are involved. All the rest of our existence should be spent present in the moment. Do you ever feel like your future dreams are just that…always in the future and never showing up now? I really believe that becomes our reality because we choose to wait for fulfillment, for happiness until a certain “thing” or “event” happens. I call it Big Picture Syndrome. Have you ever seen one of those pieces of art that is entirely made up of smaller photos or pictures? They all come together strategically to create a mesmerizing, complete picture. When you walk away from such a picture, you are able to see everything come together seamlessly. On the other hand, when you get really close to it all the various pieces are seen….like a puzzle. What if you never took that step forward to focus on the details? You would miss out on the artist’s style and composition, his or her purpose for creating it in the first place. We (our inner beings) live in the details and intricacies of life itself, not in the blurred image we assign to ourselves.
Making Peace with What Is
Peace…What exactly is it, anyway? Is it not worrying? Or, maybe, not caring? Eckart Tolle said, “Worry pretends to be necessary, but serves no useful purpose.” When we realize this, the feeling that arises is peace. Imagine feeling it every moment of your life. It’s possible- not easy- but possible. This fact also brings light to the passage in the Bible that says, “The peace of God that passes all understanding.” It’s not something we (in our current state of being) can grasp easily. When I say “current state of being” I mean that we are not totally conscious to the magnificence of our highest beings….we are on a journey to transform though. If you ask yourself to judge the current moment of your life in terms of “how troubled” it is. There can really only be one answer: It’s not troubled at all. The acceptance and awareness of the present is your life. What happened years ago, a month ago, or even two seconds ago are in the past…not changeable, not re -doable, not worth dragging along for the trip. And all that worrying about the future is the best way to land yourself in a doctor’s office and have five prescriptions thrown at you…been there. So…here we are in the moment. Perfection. Peace.
I could go on about this topic for a really long time, but I will pick it back up in a later article. The most important thing to remember is to at least give focusing on the present a try. It’s hard at first, but I guarantee if you don’t give up, it will get easier and lots more fun. Here are a few tips to help your mind stop the rat-race:
- Use your senses to more deeply experience your present moment. See the bird flying overhead; hear the water flowing into your sink; feel the texture of your favorite blanket as you wrap yourself in it.
- Create space to practice; such as, meditation, prayer, self awareness, moments of silence, vacations, clearing your calendar.
- If you find yourself in a adverse moment that is challenging; such as, a funeral, hospitalization, accident, a fight, etc., feel into the emotions of the situation and watch your reactions. Learn what you can from each feeling and how you react to them.
- Be kind. Don’t judge yourself if you aren’t successful all the time. When we judge, we are living in the regret of past or fear of future.