Accepting the Past and Appreciating the Present

“Not everything is cosmic, kid.”  

The words came out of my best friend’s mouth and immediately found a permanent place in the forefront of my mind.  My entire adult life I have spent more time analyzing the connections I’ve made, the people who have come in and out of my life, my decisions and the decisions of others than I have actually enjoying the connections and the people while I have them.

Here are 5 ways you can learn to enjoy the present instead of analyzing what the universe has in store for you:

1) Stop looking beyond the moment because anything can happen.

And that’s the truth. You can spend all day predicting what tomorrow will bring, but you’ll never know until tomorrow comes.  In the meantime, you’re missing today.  You’re allowing yourself to live in an imaginary place instead of enjoying the physical place you’re in right now.  Don’t spend your whole life living in situations that never come to fruition.  

2) Don’t spend so much time thinking of how things “could” be or if things are how they “should” be.

Sure, you could bump into an incredibly handsome, funny and brilliant man/woman at Starbucks tomorrow and live happily ever after. You could win the lottery.  Maybe you’re thinking you should be at a certain place in your life, but you’re not quite there, yet. Truly happy people appreciate what they have instead of imagining ways that they could be happier.  I have left perfect men in search of more perfect men. I have left perfect jobs in search of more perfect jobs.  Sometimes I got lucky, but more often than not – I was left thinking that I was truly unappreciative of the good things I already had.

3) You have more control than you think.

You’re the type of person that reads tomorrow’s horoscope, aren’t you?  Yeah, I’m that person, too.  Even worse – I’ve been known to let it affect my today if I know that the stars aren’t going to play in my favor tomorrow.  It sounds so ridiculous on paper – because it IS! You’re the driver of this vehicle!  Remember that you’re in control of your choices and you should own those choices when you make them.

4) Living in the past is just as bad as anticipating tomorrow.

If you’re still questioning decisions you have made or actions you have done or people you have loved and lost or whatever the case may be – stop.  The good part about tomorrow is that you’re still capable of determining the outcome, but you cannot say the same about yesterday. Once you have done something, you can quite literally never undo it – so stop wasting time acting as if you could.  Do not give that situation any more power in your life.  It is time to let go and put all of that self-destructive, mind-numbing thought space into something productive.  Imagine how much more you could do, see and feel if you spent your energy elsewhere.

5) Say it with me, again: “Not everything is cosmic, kid!”

Sometimes things just happen.  That’s an annoying thought to have, especially if you’re at all like me. Things just happen.  Your life could have been better off without it or no worse for the wear had it never happened at all, and that’s okay.  

We can give our 100% into something to never receive half of a percentage back, however someday you’ll give your all for someone, for a career or for a family member – and it will be returned.  In that moment, appreciate it. Find true happiness in the now, and someday you’ll be able to look back and find happiness within your past while hosting an unbearably optimistic hope for the future.