Yesterday, I received the following message from Neale Donald Walsh, in an affirmations email entitled On this day of your life, Judith, I believe God wants you to know:
…that everything is perfect Right Here, Right Now. And
Right Here Right Now is all there is.
Forget about the past. It does not exist, except in your memory. Drop it. And stop worrying about how you’re going to get through tomorrow. Life is going on Right Here, Right Now — pay attention to that and all will be well.
Embrace the present moment with gratefulness [sic] and wonder, and you will turn it into whatever you have been waiting for.
Every so often, I need to be reminded of this message, this truth. Yesterday and tomorrow exist for me only in my head. What’s happening today is exactly that to which I need to give attention. Thinking about the past can’t bring it back, or change it, or erase it. Wondering about the future does not give any of us a single clue about what is going to happen.
I have been a grudge holder for my whole life — part of my sad, unworthy feelings about myself. If I could find someone or some event on which to lay the blame for my past errors and trials, I would not have to take responsibility for who I was then, or who I am now. Being who I’ve always been, I felt that I could beat that rule, because everyone and everything came out unfairly to me, (or so I perceived.).
This ducking of responsibility I applied to every different kind of situation. I couldn’t stay in college because I would have had to travel from Bangor to Orono for classes everyday. Easy to blame that, so that I needn’t admit I have a lazy streak a mile wide, and I was having too much fun on the main campus to be shoved off into a satellite dorm, miles from school. I understand this now, but at the time, the blame sat so easily on that travel situation, and I ignored the very casual reason I wanted to be on campus in the first place. Far more fun, and far more trouble, at the main school.
I blamed each of my ex-husbands, one after the other, for the failures of my marriages. Those circumstances are a mixed bag, for sure, but I know I was still a teenager, even when I married at 34. I always went into these unions with the best of intentions, but my expectations changed as soon as I was married, and my mission became to change the person I had married into the person I wanted to be married to, even though I had no idea who that was.
Earlier on in my life, and until my mid-30s, I took and then left job after job. Squabbles with coworkers, my dissatisfaction, (read boredom,) with the job, the job was too hard, (yes, for someone who wouldn’t work;) I kept a list as long as my arm of reasons to quit jobs. Until I came to the hardware store, I never even considered my dislike for work and responsibility. In a very emotional sick way, I was actually pleased when my heart problems got to the point where I had to stop working. And then I would sit around at home, being bored and wasting time.
I know this sounds like I am really down on myself, but I don’t feel that way at all. Rather, I am simply listing all of the ridiculous ways in which I tried to let my past take the blame for my present.
Then, you might think that, by not counting on the tomorrows in my life, I am being irresponsible once again. For decades, I believed that I actually held control over my future. Part of the big change I went through a couple of years ago was to recognize the blessing of each moment, and to intend, and therefore tend, to be happy. This is a little different from counting on future events to make excuses for my life. I have one major expectation of myself: That I will be content, no matter how else I feel.
Embracing the present time has an added benefit — the stronger my desire to be fulfilled, the more I draw happiness to me, through the Law of Attraction. Like begets like. As I live my satisfying life, it becomes easier every day — not the circumstances of my life, but the underlying sense of rightness. That is a very big change for me, and one I am glad I finally understand.