That statement is an idea that often takes center stage in my life. It doesn’t really matter what it is. It could be an illness, ache or pain, or some work I don’t want to do. The point is, I often find myself wishing my life away. The thing is, the more time I spend obsessing about something being over, the more I miss the present moment completely.
A Pandemic is a Great Reminder to be Mindful
Many times, during this pandemic, I have heard others say it, and I, too, have uttered the same sentiment, “I can’t wait until this is over.” We just recently canceled our holiday party due to the rise in COVID cases. As the months stretch on, I feel less hopeful about a quick end to the turmoil. That is an excellent reminder that focusing on the future only steals away today. How much have I missed by obsessing about the complications of the pandemic?
In reality, my life has been very unaffected by the pandemic. However, I cannot breathe in a mask, so going places and getting things done has been an issue. All the worrying about it and wishing it away leaves me feeling unsettled, and I am definitely not in the present moment when I feel that way. Life is a lot less joyful when I worry about something in the future or wish away an uncomfortable experience.
Anxiety Steals the Present Away
I remember years ago when I was suffering from severe anxiety. My daughter was very young, and she was so loving and supportive. Although I know this, I don’t have memories of how wonderful it was to play with her on the floor or share a laugh or hug. All I can remember is the pain of anxiety. I spent most of that year wishing it would be over. I missed so much of that year with her, and I can never get that time back.
Listen to the Story You are Telling Yourself
Through a great meditation program by Oprah and Deepak Chopra, I have been more mindful of the stories in my head. When I find myself wishing something was over, I stop and bring myself back into the present moment to see what I am missing.
Focusing on the future and wishing something was over only takes you out of the present moment and steals away something you may never get back. Let this be a gentle reminder; everything in this life is “your experience,” good or bad. It wasn’t meant to be rushed through or wished away; it is an experience and will pass. If you stay lost in the worry of it or wanting it to go away, you might miss something else that’s wonderful standing right in front of you.